HC for task force to clear land encroachments

HC for task force to clear land encroachments

HC for task force to clear land encroachments

The High Court on Tuesday directed the government to furnish details of government lands encroached in the State and how much of this has been recovered.

Hearing separate petitions by Namma Bangalore Foundation and Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya, a division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri directed the government to fix a timeframe to clear the encroachments. The State has also been directed to explain its stance regarding formation of a task force to remove encroachments.

The government submitted an affidavit regarding clearance of encroachment, which said that of the total 62.25 lakh acres of government land, 13.02 lakh acres is encroached upon. Of these, regularisation of unauthorised cultivation has been sought in the case of 7.54 lakh acres. The matter is pending before the government, while the clearance of encroachment of 1,382 acres has been stayed by courts.

So far, the State has recovered 1,00,555 acres of encroached land and 4.54 lakh acres need to be recovered.   

The government submitted that 33,984 encroachers have been issued notices in connection with encroachment of 94,959 acres of land. Eviction orders have been issued to 1,635 encroachers to clear 5,790 acres. The affidavit cited elections, issue of income certificates and caste certificates to students as reasons for the delay.

The affidavit says that authorities have been constituted at district and taluk levels to clear encroachments. A State level authority under the chairmanship of the Revenue minister has also been constituted. The affidavit points out that over two lakh acres of forest land has been encroached upon by 1.1 lakh encroachers.

However, the bench was unhappy with the submission.  “You are giving excuses. Once you complain of lack of staff, on the other side you give excuses of elections and caste certificates.” The bench then questioned whether a special task can be constituted to clear encroachments.