BDA encroached forest land

BDA encroached forest land

The CAG report has revealed that the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) spent Rs 1.28 crore on developing a layout on the ‘encroached forest land’. 

The Special Land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) of the BDA served notices on khatedars on the land acquired in three survey numbers in Uttarahalli Manavarthe Kaval in January 2003. But, the deputy conservator of forests (DCF) for Bangalore Urban division filed the objections, stating that it was notified as forest land under the Government Order of 1934, naming it as Turahalli Mini forest. Besides, 20 persons, who encroached the forest land, were also trying to get the land regularised by stating that they have been cultivating it for the past 60 years.

The SLAO did not consider the objections and the issue was moved to the High Court. The HC ruled that the land belonged to the Forest department and the BDA must consider the mutation entry made in land records. The DCF made repeated appeals to BDA to vacate the land.

But the BDA had already awarded compensation to the encroachers and commissioned the formation of a layout, Banashankari VI stage on the disputed land in 2003. In January 2007, the DCF ordered the commissioner to clear the encroachment within 30 days. The BDA, which was made ex-parte, yielded to the orders by way of not participating in the proceedings to defend its position. 

In total, the BDA lost Rs 1.13 crore by way of the development works undertaken for the formation of the layout apart from the estimated loss of timber and firewood worth Rs 14.60 lakh.