Jakkur Plantation is reserved land, claims forest department

Several apartments have come up on area worth Rs 14K crore

Jakkur Plantation is reserved land, claims forest department

Several apartments have come up at ‘Jakkur Plantation’, which has become a bone of contention with the forest department claiming that the entire parcel of 177-acre-28-gunta land is a reserve forest.

Most of the land in question lies adjacent to the Jakkur aerodrome on the busy Ballari Road at Jakkur-Allasandra Junction. Around 20 acres lies on the other side of Ballari Road. There are no crossroads or bylanes in Jakkur Plantation and the parcel of land is connected to the main road by a wide approach road. Compound walls have been built around most of the vacant land. Around 80 acres is estimated to be vacant and some part is wooded.

The history of Jakkur Plantation can be traced to 1919 when the then Government of Maharaja of Mysuru notified large tracts of land in the region, then known as Mallegal Valley, as state forest. While some parts were de-reserved in the following years, including around 200 acres for the aerodrome, 177 acres and 28 guntas were gazetted as “Jakkur -Allalasandra Plantation State Forest” under Section 17 of the Mysore Forest Regulation XI of 1900 with effect from November 1, 1940.

The land estimated to be valued at Rs 14,000 crore, as per the present market rate, has some high-profile claimants, including Industries Minister R V Deshpande and prominent builders.

According to the local residents, apartments started coming up in the last two decades. Some of the dwellings here include Daffodils, Duo Residency, M M Towers, Renaissance Exotica, Sobha Amber Malachite Zircon, Mantri Eucalyptus,  among others.

Bangalore North sub-division Assistant Commissioner, who has been authorised to adjudicate the case, had issued notices to “50 claimants” to prove that they are the title holders of the land.

Besides Deshpande, some of the others who have been served notices include Sobha Inner Technophone represented by Meera Raghavan, Jakkur Aerodrome, Karnataka State Judicial Employees House Building Co-operative Society, Sobha Inner City Technopolis, H R Suresh, Raj Gopal, S Veeranna, M N Mahadevaiah.

Sources in the revenue department said individual apartment holders had not been issued notices as of now, but that it would do so at a later stage. The claimants or their legal counsels will depose before the assistant commissioner’s court on November 20.

As things stand now, the forest department has prepared a case to ascertain that the land in question is indeed reserve forest. The department has contended that any notified reserve forest can be de-reserved by issuing a gazette notification to the effect, but only after a resolution of both the Houses of the state legislature and that too after the approval of the Central government. No such procedure has been taken up for the 177-acre disputed land, is the contention of the department.

In a recent twist to the tale, Bengaluru North (Additional) taluk tahsildar, in a communication to the State government, has stated that the land in question was allotted to various beneficiaries and locals over the last few decades, including those under a rehabilitation scheme to the displaced, following the construction of the Thippagondahalli (TG) reservoir.

For his part, Deshpande has stated that he had purchased the land legally. The grant of land to those who had been rehabilitated for the TG halli reservoir was made 65 years ago and they had got it converted for non-agricultural purposes, he said.

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