'Encroached' land worth Rs 100 crore recovered

Bengaluru Urban District authorities on Saturday swooped down on VR Bengaluru Shopping Mall and recovered 29.5 guntas of land, which the mall owner had encroached upon. Authorities claimed that the value of the encroached portion is Rs 100 crore. Taking the mall managers by surprise, the officers began marking the encroached portion for demolition and put up a notice board that stated that the area belonged to the government. The district officials said the mall has built a security post, a lift and reception on the encroached portion. The lawn of the mall was also on the encroached portion, they claimed. The officials said they had issued an eviction notice to start the demolition drive there. They said the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board had allotted the land to Dooravani Cables for industrial use.

However, the company sold it to Suguna Commercial without even completing the project, citing losses. Later, Suguna Commercial constructed a mall which violated the purpose for which the land was allotted. The revenue officials objected to the violation of land use and dragged the mall authorities to court. Finally, the court ruled in favour of the revenue department. Saturday’s action was led by tahsildar of Bengaluru East taluk.

A VR Mall spokesperson rubbished the claim. In his statement he said, “The allegation that VR Bengaluru has been built on encroached kharab land is completely baseless and incorrect. As a foreign direct investor in India, we are concerned that false allegations are made and owners/investors are being troubled when they have abided by every law of the land. This at a time when the stated policy of both Government of India and Government of Karnataka is to attract long-term FDI that helps create new infrastructural facilities and assets and help build “Smart Cities”.

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