Public park being usurped by unknown land grabber in Indiranagar

When unknown people built a fence around a piece of land marked for a public park, the residents of Defence Colony, Indiranagar, complained to every stakeholder they could think of – but all in vain. Now they’re worried that it’s headed towards encroachment or an illegal construction. But even the police say they are helpless because nobody knows who is behind the suspicious activity.

This piece of land between 4th and 6th Main in Defence Colony, Indiranagar, also known as Park Three, is designated by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) as ‘Park and Open Space area’ as per BDA Comprehensive Development Plan. Even though the area was under dispute with the BDA, some claimants and the Defence Colony Cooperative Housing Society Ltd (DCCHSL), the High Court of Karnataka had asked the DCCHSL to maintain status quo on this park. (The case is still pending in the High Court.)

This public area was being used by residents here to play and spend leisure time until a part of it was fenced overnight by unknown people. A board was put up to warn against trespassing. “On the morning of November 12, 2016, we found this fence built. When the 2-3 people from the board of directors saw them finishing off the fencing, we gave a written complaint at the Indiranagar Police Station. At first, the police were reluctant even to lodge the complaint, claiming it was a civil case and unless there was a court order, they cannot interfere. Eventually, the constable came with us to the spot where there was no in-charge so we had no clue who got the fence built,” Col Raj Mannar, president of DCCHSL, told media.

THE CHANGING BOARD

The board announcing ownership of land suspiciously kept changing every week, and no one knew who was behind the encroachment. “We suspect the involvement of government officials. They (the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies) had previously made frivolous complaints against the DCCHSL and its members. They wanted to deal with the real estate people directly and that’s why they found some excuses to get us, the board, out of the way. This is why we suspect their involvement. This issue went on and on, and now this whole direct encroachment has taken place. We do not want such individuals to just come and illegally occupy the land like this. We aim to maintain it for the sake of the residents,” Col Mannar explained.

The DCCHSL has filed a police complaint as well as complained to the BBMP, but all in vain.

“It’s a huge play area where kids played cricket and other sports. As a residents’ association, we want to protect it from land sharks. It is a public land and we want to ensure it is left for the public. As for the area’s corporator, Anand Kumar, he knows about the whole issue but is not receptive to our complaints. The residents are concerned about what to do in such a scenario,” said another resident of the locality and a member of DCCHSL, who did not want to be named.

When media spoke to corporator Anand Kumar, he seemed to know about the issue and had his own plans to resolve it. “There is a case going on over this particular piece of land and this has made all of this messy. We even asked the police department, sending them pictures of the changing boards, but even they do not know who is responsible. I will verify about the court case details by sending a letter to the legal section of BBMP. If there is no court case or complications, I will get the fence removed immediately. In a day or two, I will make sure the formalities are completed and will personally look into the matter,” he promised.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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