A government committee looking into land encroachments has reportedly found that 18,000 fraudulent paperwork related to hundreds of acres of government land in Bengaluru are circulating in the market.
According to rough estimates, the value of land lost in the process is no less than Rs 60,000 to Rs 70,000 crore, officials pointed out.
The alarming statistics came to light when the committee led by chief secretary (CS) Aravind Jadhav met on March 31. Sources privy to the information said the government has been stumped by this revelation and that it has no idea how much land has been lost as a result of these fraudulent paperwork.
The CS-led committee, which was set up on September 29 2015, was primarily looking at forest land encroachments. Subsequently , it also started looking into revenue land encroachments when it stumbled upon these figures.
It’s believed the committee hasn’t been able to track the actual records in these 18,000 cases either because they have either been “buried” or were lost over the last few decades.
As a result, removing the encroachments has become a major concern for the government. Further, large parcels of these lands have been developed into dwelling units, with several high-profile politicians and bureaucrats occupying them. Given the prevailing scenario, the government has now decided to conduct a survey of the entire city. Surveyors from the revenue department will work closely with their forest counterparts to identify encroached government land across Bengaluru. The joint survey will begin later this year, based on available records with the two departments and existing records in the market.
Meanwhile, skeptics in the government feel the CS-led committee and its directions are nothing more than a delay tactic and a way to put the lid on cases related to land encroachments.
While the committee’s one-year While the committee’s one-year tenure is set to expire on September 29, it’s likely to get an extension and could even become a permanent fixture of the state. According to sources, though the government will do a survey of Bengaluru, it’ll try to brush aside questions about the loss of government land to encroachers.
While 70 to 80% of illegal encroachments pertain to the revenue department, 20 to 30% are forest land.
Credits ET Realty