Only 3 houses demolished: Jayachandra

Only 3 houses demolished: Jayachandra

Only 3 houses demolished: Jayachandra

Excepting a handful of households, everything else that was demolished in the recent clearance drive on lakes were commercial establishments including resorts, said Law Minister T B Jayachandra.

Speaking to reporters here on Friday, Jayachandra, who countered the Opposition’s charges of bringing scores of families to the streets, said only three houses in 20x30 dimension were demolished in Sarakki, Puttenahalli, and Jaraganahalli.

“A majority of the properties cleared are that of influential people. Very few houses have been disturbed. Around 60 buildings – bars and restaurants, garages and hotels were demolished during the Banaswadi drive. There were around 10 residential buildings, which were not touched,” he said.

In Kacharakanahalli, three temples were handed over to the Muzrai department, while a choultry which charged a rent of Rs 2.65 lakh per day, was demolished. He said no land grabber, developer or realtor would be spared no matter how influential they are.

FIRs filed
Over the last two years, as many as 466 cases had been booked against encroachers of government land, while FIRs have been filed against nine officials.

The cases are still under trial, he said. To fast track the cases, the department is in the process of setting up a special court under the Karnataka Land Grabbing Prohibition Act. Those convicted will face imprisonment up to three years, he said.

Pinning blame on previous governments for not clearing encroachments, Jayachandra said the Congress government is merely cleaning up the mess that the JD(S) and BJP governments ignored since 2006.

Encroachments were not cleared despite Supreme Court and High Court directives, he said.
“From 2006 to 2013, nothing was done with regard to encroachments. Now that the Congress government has taken up the drive, the opposition parties are politicising the issue.

The government has not taken a suo motu decision. We are merely following court orders,” he said.

Surveyors to be appointed
He also said that the Revenue department is in the process of appointing about 100 to 150 surveyors to survey the lakes. The House Committee on lake protection has sought about 200 surveyors from the department.

“There is no delay in the appointment of surveyors as is alleged by JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy. The process has been initiated, and surveyors will soon be appointed,” he said.

The government has invited applications from those who have lost properties, as part of the rehabilitation package, he said.

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