Residents call for land under builders to be returned to forest department after high court verdict

news Friday, May 01, 2015 - 05:30
  Residents of Bengaluru’s Malleshwara area will protest to safeguard the 15-year-old Sankey Tank Park and its 133-year-old manmade lake against the planned construction of a residential complex in that area.   On May 10, the Sankey Park Walkers Association plan to demonstrate against the project and to call for the preservation of the park’s scenic beauty.   Namma Bengaluru Foundation, Sadashivnagar Residents Welfare Association and Maleshwaram Swabhiman Initiative will also join them.   Currently the land is with a group of builders under the real estate company, Mantri Developers.   AR Anand, President of Sankey Park Walkers Association told The News Minute that the six acre land alongside the park was a forest which belonged to the government, but was sold. The state government lost the land acquisition case in the high court and could not claim the property.    “We all are unhappy with the judgement. The land has to be bestowed to the forest department,” he said.   Anand also said that the land was earlier given to a medicine manufacturing company on lease and instead of returning it to the government, it was sold. But Anand said he doubts the authenticity of the clauses of the case and has demanded an in-depth investigation.     Sankey Tank (Shraddha Dhulap/The News Minute)   According to the Bangalore Mirror newspaper, this land which is estimated to be worth hundreds of crore rupees was with Gulf Oil Corporation, earlier known as IDL Chemicals Limited, and was recently sold to a builder under Mantri.   Advocate Kulkarni, a resident and a regular visitor to Sankey Tank Park said that both the government and the court should review the entire case from the beginning.    “It is a sanctorum of public interest, there would be no compromise,” he said.   Other residents and visitors said that if the complex was built, a lot of trees would be demolished and there would be sewage and traffic problems. They added that it would also be harmful to the animals and birds in that area.   “I have come for a walk here for the past 20 years. Old trees were already cut down for road widening. We won’t allow this project which they have initiated for monetary gains,” said Krishnamoorthy, a resident.   The News Minute tried to reach Mantri Developers for a comment but were unable to receive one at the time of publication.