Govt will reclaim encroached lands: Eshwarappa

Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa on Thursday said that the State government will take steps to reclaim encroached government land in and around Bangalore as recommended by the joint House committee headed by A T Ramaswamy.

Speaking to reporters after chairing a meeting of the Revenue department officials, Eshwarappa said all issues concerning reclaiming encroached land would be brought before the State Cabinet for discussion and decision soon.

The Ramaswamy committee had unearthed over 40,000 acres of land worth Rs 50,000 crore encroached in and around Bangalore. The committee submitted two reports in 2007, but successive governments have not initiated any action so far.

“There is no question of sidelining the report. We are committed to implement the recommendations of the committee,” Eshwarappa, who holds the revenue portfolio, said. Ramaswamy was also present at Thursday’s meeting.

Eshwarappa said the government would not succumb to pressure from any quarter and pointed out that the drive taken up by the government to reclaim 1,300 acres at the foot of Chamundi Hills in Mysore was a case in point.

Ramaswamy said 41,303 acres of land had been encroached by 45,000 people in Bangalore Urban district alone and about 8,334 acres of government land had slipped into the hands of influential land mafia which created fake records. He said 2,300 acres of land valued at Rs 5,000 crore at Jala hobli in Devanahalli taluk of Bangalore North had been encroached. Eshwarappa said steps would be taken to recover these lands.

Ramaswamy wanted the government to take steps to get the Presidential nod for the State’s Prevention of Government Land Encroachment Bill, which was passed by both Houses of the legislature recently. The Bill provides for the speedy inquiry into any act of land grabbing and trial of cases by a special court.  

Eshwarappa said the government’s recent move to amend Section 94(c) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act would enable poor people in urban areas to get houses built on government land regularised.

He would meet the Governor soon and seek his assent for the Bill. If need be, the cut off date for applying for regularisation would be extended, he added.

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