For people who visit the land reserved for public crematorium in the government records, will leave them wonderstruck, for the land is filled with coffee plantations that generate lakhs of rupee income.
The story does not end with the crematorium, but even a portion of the six acre land belonging to the government school too has been encroached by private individuals, making it difficult for children to play in their playground. The above two instances only reflect the extent to which encroachment of government land is taking place in Mudigere taluk which is infamous as the taluk with highest revenue land encroachment in the entire Chikmagalur district. Apart from Kalasa hobli, the taluk comprises of 24,000 acre forest land and 30,000 acre dense forest land, off which 40 per cent of land has been encroached. Yet, in comparison the encroachment of forest land, the encroachment of revenue land is quite high.
According to an estimate, over 60 per cent of the total 1,14,765 revenue land has been encroached by private individuals.
With land holders encroaching government land, the poor in the taluk have no land to take shelter. There is a tug-of-war between the officials who claim that government land has been encroached and the farmers who claim that officials are considering even the cultivating land as encroached land.
Though the forest department has issued notices to several families to vacate the encroached land, the lives of people who have encroached small pieces of land for livelihood is at stake, while the landlords who have encroached the land out of greed are using the small encroachers as shield to protect themselves.