Sunday, July 17, 2011

News Article: Karnataka - SC eviction order a blow to encroachers

Govts asked to free public properties from land grabbers
SC eviction order a blow to encroachers
Shidlaghatta, May 4, DHNS:
The recent Supreme Court order asking the government to recover all public properties like lands and water bodies if they have been encroached upon by private parties has surely created consternation among the encroachers.
The order will lead to such lands - streams, grazing lands, steps wells in temples and others - being reclaimed and used for the benefit of the public. But the big question is whether the court order will be implemented in letter and spirit. Water bodies catered to a large extent to the needs of the people and reflected the foresight of the rulers in the past. But in due course, these public properties fell into the hands of encroachers.
The chief secretaries to the state governments have been asked to draw up plans to recover such properties. The chief secretaries should have submitted reports to the court on the progress in this regard by Tuesday.
Revenue not utilised
Streams and ponds in some areas are auctioned to private parties for fishing purposes. But in most cases, the revenue generated from such ventures are not being utilised for public purposes.
“When information was sought in this regard, through a letter to the chief secretary, he said the letter had been forwarded to the Revenue department for its perusal.
This case is a perfect example of how a court order that can help the people is derailed by officials,” said Jojo John of FES, an organisation working in the field of environment.
“We have taken steps to evict encroachers in many places and issued notices in many other cases. Encroachments have been removed in Chikkadasarahalli, Thippenahalli, Gudihalli, Pallicherlu, Gummanahalli, Devaramallur and Pindipanahalli. The land recovered in Thippenahalli has been given for an ITI and a school,” said Tahsildar B Mallikarjun.

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