2,482 acres of forest land in Bangalore encroached

Govt agencies among the infringers, says minister

Government agencies along with private individuals and companies have encroached 2,482 acres of forest land worth Rs 7,000 crore in and around Bangalore, Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara told the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

Replying to a query by Basavaraj Horatti (JD-S), Yogeeshwara furnished a list of encroachers of forest land in Anekal, KR Puram, Bangalore South, Bangalore North, Yelahanka, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli, Nelamangala and Hoskote taluks.

The Forest minister names Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) among the government agencies; Wipro GE Medicals and SAN Engineering among private companies along with private individuals.

The list refers to, among others, encroachment of 63.26 acres by Gulzar Khan, 28.17 acres by SAN Engineering, 8.16 acres by Wipro GE Medicals in Kadugodi reserve forest in Anekal; 64 acres by BDA, 10 acres by BBMP and five acres by Hari Khoday in different areas of Bangalore Urban taluk.

In the Bangalore city division alone, 1,338 acres has been encroached wherein 441 people are involved. Yogeeshwara said the department had issued orders to clear encroachments by 155 people. About 288 individual cases are pending in different courts; 161 acres, encroached by 31 individuals or companies, have been recovered.

Yogeeshwara said the task force in the Forest department would be strengthened to clear encroachments in these areas. As the majority of encroachment cases are in the court, the legal wing of the department will be strengthened.

Horatti said the extent of encroachment is a shocker to the city of Bangalore, which is already facing pollution hazards. The government, he said, should be clear about what action has been initiated against encroachers.

Horatti claimed he had information about the involvement of low-ranked officers in the Forest department resulting in such irregularities. In one of the cases, a single family has encroached on forest land in 11 different areas, he said.

Another member, R V Venkatesh, said the government should issue a new ordinance to tackle such encroachments involving even politicians and pontiffs. However, Yogeeshwara said there was no need for any ordinance as the Supreme Court itself has clearly said that encroachers of forest land should be punished without any lenience and there is already a task force already exists.     

M C Nanaiah (JD-S) wondered why the State government is sitting on inquiry
reports on similar encro­ach­ments in and around the City submitted by former IAS officer V Balasubramaniam and a committee headed by A T Ramaswamy.

Grabbed

* Anekal - 322.18
* KR Puram - 569.28
* Bangalore South - 401.10
* Bangalore North - 37.33
* Yelahanka - 6.24
* Doddaballapur - 373.17
* Devanahalli - 146.05
* Nelamangala - 431.17
* Hoskote - 193.16

Numbers In acres

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