Plan to protect recovered land in B'luru from encroachments

Plan to protect recovered land in B'luru from encroachments

Staff quarters, revenue-generating facilities on 5,200 acres

Plan to protect recovered land in B'luru from encroachments

 Faced with the challenge of protecting more than 5,200 acres of land it has recovered in the last year and a half from land-grabbers and illegal settlements, the Bengaluru Urban district authorities have come up with a proposal to utilise the land in a way that it is not encroached upon again and generates revenue for the government.

The district authorities have proposed to build bungalows for officials and housing quarters for government employees on these lands.

They have also suggested developing parks, playgrounds, hospitals and EWS (economically weaker sections) quarters and also leasing out the land for building malls and IT set-ups on public-private partnership (PPP) model. The proposal would soon be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, said top sources in the district administration.
Deputy Commissioner of Bengaluru Urban district V Shankar led the anti-encroachment drive and recovered about 5,200 acres of land at a time when the land-grabbers were running a parallel system and were calling the shots in all the departments. 

A government officer requesting anonymity said, “After the recovery of land, we have the challenge of protecting it. Mere fencing will not do. Hence, we have come up with the plan.”

Sources said the plan was for 4,365 acres and eight guntas, of which about 3,000 acres was arid. The action plan proposes utilisation of 300 acres of land for the officers’ bungalows and residential quarters for government employees in the City.

Another 800 acres of land could be utilised by leasing them out to commercial establishments like IT-BT firms and building malls on PPP model.

“This will not only generate revenue for the government, it will also own the facility (buildings) once the lease period is over. It is a win-win situation,” said the officer.
The district authorities have also proposed theme parks, big parks like Cubbon Park and Lalbagh, tourism destinations, vast playgrounds and other lung spaces on 380 acres.

EWS quarters
Another 100 acres can be reserved for EWS quarters, where single BHK (bedroom, hall, kitchen) homes for the urban poor can be built. The land can also have new cremation grounds.

The district authorities have suggested not to auction these lands. Instead, the land can be leased out and utilised whenever there is a need in future. Of the recovered land, at least 800 acres is lake land, for which a separate action plan has been prepared.

The district authorities have proposed to develop them as lakes if they have not lost their features or as parks and playgrounds.