Land encroachment has plagued Bengaluru for years now and the district administration, which has been dealing with 6,000 land grabbing cases has only managed to dispose of 13 cases till now.
Currently, there are 348 land grabbing cases registered in the special court and an additional 243 suo motu cases registered by the special court itself.
“Out of these cases, 92 of them are registered against private companies and totally only 13 cases have been disposed, eight of them in the last seven months,” a senior official in the Bengaluru Urban district Deputy Commissioner’s office said.
Agitated over the slow pace at which the district administration is working, the special court, on Thursday, decided to act on the V Balasubrahmanian Report of 2007 titled “Greed and Connivance”.
The detailed report contains information on land grabbing in all areas of Karnataka. The committee had found that 12 lakh acres of land had been encroached upon in the state and 33,878 acres of land belonged to the Revenue Department in Bengaluru alone.
The special court has set a target of disposing of 4000 cases and it has also decided to take appropriate action against land grabbers.
On March 28, the court had directed the various district administrations to compile a list of land grabbers and submit the necessary documents as proof.
According to a senior official in the Bengaluru Urban Deputy Commissioner’s office, range forest officers from six districts have sent the lists so far with relevant papers.
“The court has directed the officials that supporting documents to prove land grabbing must be provided and not just the names, addresses and the area of encroachment. The court has also warned of taking action against officials if they fail to do so,” the official added.
The anti-land grabbing special court was set up on August 31, 2016 after residents of Bengaluru demanded that stringent action be taken against land grabbers.
“Currently, there are around 3,000 pending cases pertaining to land ownership disputes alone in the DC office and another 3,000 cases are yet to be disposed of by courts of the DC and assistant commissioner. These officials have not transferred the cases to the special court yet,” the senior official said.
Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru Urban District, V Shankar, said that one of the reasons for the delay is non-cooperation by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
“There are so many lakes, rajakaluves (stormwater drains), parks, playgrounds, roads in Bengaluru that have been encroached upon. The Palike is not taking action against these individuals. The first step in such cases is for the BBMP to issue notices and also submit necessary documents to prove encroachment but they are not co-operating. The court has sent notices to the Palike and they have not responded,” V Shankar added.