Bengaluru: Citizens have demanded the state government to come clean on the recovery of huge tracts of encroached land in BBMP limits and the rest of the state.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation along with United Bengaluru said there was a huge discrepancy in the amount of land encroached and the land recovered in BBMP limits.
"The Task Force For Recovery of Public Land and It's Protection committee chaired by V Balasubramanian in its report stated that an estimated 27,336 acres of land has been illegally encroached within the Bengaluru Urban District. The report also observes that the land grabbing is by powerful builders and land mafia with active involvement of government and its officials. The government claims that it has recovered 15,833 acres only within BBMP limits. The discrepancy between these two numbers is a huge mystery," said the organizations in a release.
Namma Bengaluru Foundation along with United Bengaluru asked the government to release details of the total encroachment, illegal structures demolished, and the action taken against erring officials.
Freedom fighter HS Doraiswamy said the government had accepted AT Ramaswamy's report on government land encroachment and slept on it for all these years. "They should come clean on recovered encroached government lands and distribute it to poor and needy. The government should not collude with the builders and give away the land for profit, rather they should ensure the land is utilized for cultivation purpose after verifying all the documents of the applicant."
NJ Jayashree, Honorary Secretary, Save Karnataka said, "It is observed that the recovered land is going back to the encroacher as they are using their power and money. The government is also providing complete support to these land mafias. The task force that was formed by the government is disbanded and we don't know what is happening with the lands. The government should be transparent and updated all the details about the government lands in a portal for public to view."
Sridhar Pabbisetty, CEO, Namma Bengaluru Foundation, said, "As per V Balasubramanian's report, 27,336 acres of government land is under encroachment in BBMP limits. The government claims to have recovered 15,833 acres only. We do not understand. Why is the government delaying in recovering their own land? Also, we want to know what punishment has been awarded to the offenders?"
Suresh NR, Convener, United Bengaluru, said, "The government is only trustee of public assets and money. All the encroached lands belong to the public and not to any individual in the government. Many reports have been submitted to the government on this issue but all these reports are safely hidden in their cupboards. The government should be accountable for the public land."