Land sharks dupe thousands of investors in Anekal

Bengaluru Urban DC set to reclaim layout formed on gomala land

Land sharks dupe thousands of investors in Anekal

Land grabbers, who are active in Anekal Taluk in the South of Bengaluru, have spelt doom for thousands of poor families who are set to lose their hard-earned money in the illegal land transaction.

The misery of thousands of families came to fore when the Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban, V Shankar, with his subordinate officials inspected some layouts in the area, which have come up on government pasture land illegally.

The district authorities are on an anti-encroachment drive for the past few months to reclaim government land following pressure from various quarters including the High Court, Lokayukta and civil society members. As part of the drive, the district officials visited at least three layouts on pasture land in Anekal Taluk.

The officials noticed that an illegal layout of massive scale has come up in a sprawling 136 acres of pasture land in Survey number 57 of Hommedevanahalli village in Begur Hobli of Anekal Taluk, which was formed way back in 2000.

It was learnt that after the layout formation, land grabbers circulated pamphlets and brochures offering sites on Equated Monthly Installment (EMI) basis in ‘Garden City Layout.’ A large number of people fell in their trap as the ‘developers’ made some lucrative offers, such as fully fortified gated community, 24x7 water supply, sewerage, tar road, footpath, bicycle track, swimming pool, club house, parks, playgrounds and other amenities.

Most of the victims are garment workers, nurses, paramedic staff in government hospitals, workers in private factories and petty shopkeepers, who enrolled themselves in the EMI scheme. Once the required amount was deposited, the sites were registered, followed by Khatha transfer and regular property tax payment in the names of ‘site owners’ between 2003 and 2006.

Said Gowramama, one of the victims of the forgery: “The pamphlets and brochures showed Shantharaju as the owner and developer of the layout. We sincerely paid our EMIs from 2000 to 2003. When all the EMIs were paid, the registration took place. We were told that Lakshmilal, who holds the general power of attorney, would execute the registration. He did not turn up. Instead another person by name Navaratan Lal, who too claimed having the GPA and assured the site owners that Lakshmilal would appear later, but he did not show up.”

The ‘site owners’ could sense trouble when JD(S) leader Prabhakar Reddy, who had unsuccessfully contested Assembly election from Bengaluru South constituency, claimed ownership of the land and went on a demolition spree.

He told the site owners that Shantharaju had sold the land to him and they will have to leave the place.

Rajalakshmi, another victim, said, “The compound wall of the layout was smashed and even our shed was demolished. We even lodged a police complaint but till now no concrete action has been taken.”

Before the site owners could recover from Reddy’s action, the district authorities gave them a shocker by saying that their layout was illegal and the government will recover it. Gowramma questioned how the registrar executed the registration of the property when it was a pasture land.

Another layout

Another layout, which the district authorities suspect is illegal, has come up in Hagase Thimmanahalli and Inglavadi villages in 100 acres of land. The layout, which is more of a township, has 11 arches and offers enough amenities to lure anyone at a cheap price.

DC V Shankar visited the area and sought details of the land. It is learnt that the developers took advantage of the borders between two villages. The revenue officials believe that the survey sketches and revenue documents have been meddled with.

“At least 4,000 people are learnt to have bought the sites in this layout, which, we suspect, is under the Green Zone, where no residential layout should be formed,” said a revenue officer.

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