Gowda urges govt to reclaim encroached land in Bangalore

JD(S) national president and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda demanded that the State government must take immediate steps to acquire 45,000 acres of government land encroached in and around Bangalore.

Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Thursday, Gowda said a joint house committee headed by A T Ramaswamy had identified 45,000 acres of land encroached in and around Bangalore and the Siddaramaiah government should show the political will to acquire the same.

Part of the land acquired should be auctioned and the funds mobilised should be earmarked for development of Bangalore. The remaining land should be converted into sites and distributed among poor, he suggested.

He charged that the land mafia had grabbed lake beds, natural canals (Raja Kaluve) and government land in connivance with political leaders. The government should acquire the land and not succumb to any pressure, he added. The government should also take steps for the revival of Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force and give it more power to recover encroached land.

Gowda said he had written to Siddaramaiah on taking steps to acquire encroached land. Gowda said he had also written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2005 on announcing an integrated comprehensive development plan for greater Bangalore. Yet his political adversaries were portraying him and his party anti-Bangalore which was far from truth, Gowda said.

Replying to queries, Gowda said the Centre should take “strong steps” on the issue of arrest and subsequent ill-treatment of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by the US.  He said it was one of the “tragic moments” for Indians.

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