Finally, Udupi DC acts against encroachment of river in Henguvalli

Finally, the district administration got up from its laxity and is into action against the blatant encroachment of a river in Henguvalli which could lead to submerging of nearly 150 houses nearby.

The entire district administration visited Henguvalli on Saturday to inspect the illegal encroachment by Francis George, who hails from Kerala. George, who ownes 9 acre 62 cents of land, was reportedly involved in encroaching the Thombattu river area and forest buffer zone.

Resort on encroached land

George, who is into mining business, has constructed a palatial resort on the land owned by him and partially encroached the buffer zone of forest area. Besides, by possessing false claims, it has been alleged that he has encroached the River Thombattu, wherein he has filled mud to construct a bridge. Deputy Commissioner Muddu Mohan who visited the spot, ordered for immediate eviction of the land covering the river.

The DC said Section 133 CrPC should be invoked and action should be taken accordingly. Holding the minor irrigation department, forest department and revenue officials responsible for the irregularity, the DC asserted that the construction is totally illegal and a detailed report would be sent to the government immediately on the matter.

“The Revenue inspector and irrigation department officials should be suspended for permitting the encroachment of natural asset like river. The negligence of the government machinery is intolerable. The investment for the eviction will also be dealt with the accused,” Muddu Mohan said.

The DC said the panchayath body should also be held responsible for its ignorance over the huge structure that was being built.

He directed the CEO to send a report immediately by conducting inquiry into the accomplicity of the departments concerned. The DCF will also be part of the inquiry.

It is a criminal offence. We have received the complaint over the illegal encroachment last week. The accused has disturbed the natural flow of river. He has encroached the government property, he added.

Officials respond

Meanwhile, Kundapur Tahsildar Gayatri Nayak said, “we were informed only a few days ago. We issued notice for the eviction of the river land. George refused to follow the government order. He continued works during night hours and during wee hours. He did not permit for the survey initially. However, we conducted the survey and have corroborated the encroachments on the river land and forest buffer zone.”

AC Yogeshwar said that the work is being carried out for more than six months and it was brought to the notice of administration only recently. He has built tennis and basket ball courts and also water boat games in the encroached land of forest buffer zone.

The Henguvalli Panchayath PDO B R Salotgi exoressed ignorance over the developments. “The accused never sought any license for the construction.

However, after knowing that government will conduct the survey, Francis applied for a license to construct a minor bridge across the river for 1.30 acres of land on May 29. But Panchayath denied the permission.” The PDO added that George never allowed people inside the resort and threatened whoever tried for it.

Threat of submerge

Localite Belve Vasanth Kumar Shetty told Deccan Herald that the river which is being encroached, will end up in diversion which will cause submerging of the houses and agricultural lands in the surroundings. It is a major threat in the region. The issue was brought to the notice of Deputy Commissioner several times, but he did not respond, he alleged. The Panchayath officials and PDO knew about the encroachment. All these people maintained dignified silence. The River joins Haladi River which finally reaches Varahi River.

Sadahshiv Naik, who belongs to a tribal community, says that there are nearly 150 houses, which are under the threat of submersion following the forcible stop of the river water. The river will surely submerge the houses in the monsoon, as it is been stopped flowing in its natural direction, he added.

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