Show-cause notice to lake encroachers soon

The Revenue department authorities will soon start issuing show-cause notices to about 11,000 individuals and organisations which have encroached upon lakes and water bodies in Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts.

The Legislative Assembly Committee looking into the encroachment of lakes in the two districts is scheduled to release names of all the encroachers on Friday. The Committee has already directed the Revenue officials to issue the notices to the encroachers, seeking their response as to why they should not be evicted. Two panels, one taluk-level, headed by the tahsildar and another, district-level, headed by the assistant commissioner, will be set up for this purpose, the Assembly Committee chairman and senior Congress MLA K B Koliwad said.

The Department of Survey Settlement and Land Records (DSSLR) has recently conducted a survey of all 4,205 lakes and water bodies in the two districts as per the direction of the Committee. The DSSLR has already uploaded all the survey sketches on its website. The sketches have not only identified the encroachments but have also mentioned the names of individuals and organisations who have encroached upon the lakes and water bodies over the years.

He said the tahsildar-headed panel will issue the notice to the encroachers. The panel will only receive the reply from the encroachers and forward them to the assistant commissioner-headed panel, which will scrutinise the response of every encroacher, prepare a report and submit it to the Committee. The final report will be prepared based on these reports and will be submitted to the Assembly, Koliwad added. He said the Committee has directed the Revenue authorities to issue the notice because natural justice has been followed. If action is taken without giving them an opportunity to present their case, they may go to court and get a stay. Moreover, the aim of the whole exercise is not to displace somebody, it is meant to protect lakes and water bodies, he added.

 Legislative Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa set up the Committee in October 2014 following JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy raising the issue of rampant encroachment of lakes in Bengaluru. The Committee was initially asked to submit its report within three months. But the Assembly subsequently extended the deadline as the work involved the survey of lakes, issuing notice to the enroachers and receiving their response. The JD(S) is also a part of the 11-member Committee.
 

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