Bangalore, December 13: Nearly 4.5 acres of encroached government land valued at Rs. 35 crore has been recovered in the catchment area of the T.G. Halli reservoir, an important water source for Bangalore.
The operation was carried out on Friday by officials from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore Urban district.
The land had been encroached by private builders, who formed layouts and sold the sites, an official charged. The builders were allegedly hand in glove with village panchayat officials and had managed to get panchayat approvals for laying roads, providing drinking water, drainage, electricity connection and streetlights by fabricating documents. “This was to attract prospective clients [by claiming that] the layouts were approved by the authorities,” the official added. They had even reportedly applied for a licence for boating and liquor licences.
The Revenue Department had issued several show-cause notices to the builders, but they continued to sell the sites in the layouts — most bearing grand names such as Lakeview Paradise, Jala Shringar Villas and Jala Tarangini Extension to attract buyers — officials said. Villas, commercial establishments and houses had been built on the disputed land, several of which were owned by non-resident Indians.
Finally on Friday, the team led by Bangalore South tahsildar B.R. Dayanand visited the river bank in Channenahalli and Wattigana Hatti villages, demolished the structures and recovered the land.
Occupants of the houses reportedly requested officials to give them time to move out. Layout owners tried to delay the demolition by claiming they had a stay order, but officials went on with it as no copy of the court order was produced.
“We have sent a detailed report about the illegal encroachments and nexus between builders and village panchayat officials to the Deputy Commissioner,” Mr. Dayanand said.