Officials have so far identified around 12 lakh acres of government land that have been encroached upon in different parts of the State.
The survey was still on and it was estimated that the extent of encroachments might be around 15 lakh acres, Mr. Balasubramanian told presspersons here after reviewing land encroachment in Chickballapur district.
During district/department reviews, officials have been told to clear encroachments within one year. “I hope that the entire encroachment would by cleared by December 2011, Mr. Balasubramanian told The Hindu.
So far, 37,000 acres of encroachments have been cleared across the State and notices issued to 540 encroachers by the jurisdictional tahsildars, under Section 192 (A) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act (which empowers the Government to prosecute encroachers, including government officials who connive with them and fabricate the documents), he said. The task force has appointed five senior advocates, in addition to government advocates, to handle some of the high-profile cases of encroachments, in which notices have been issued, he said.
The extent of encroachments was largest in Chickmagalur district, where 1.06 lakh acres was under illegal occupation. Of this, 36,000 acres was under forest area. In all, 1.42 acres of forest land had been encroached upon in the State, mainly in Chickmagalur, Uttar Kannada, Shimoga and Bangalore Rural districts, Mr. Balasubramanian said.
As hardly any Government land was available in Devanahalli taluk of Bangalore Rural district, encroachers had now apparently set their eyes on land in neighbouring Chickballapur, which is around 25 km from Bengaluru International Airport, he said.
In Chickballapur district, 37,000 acres of government land was under illegal occupation and the district administration had got back 12,000 acres, he said.
A preliminary probe had indicated that a leading real estate agency, which has developed a gated community and a golf course on a 300-acre area near the Nandi Hills, had encroached upon around 30 acres of government land, he said. There were about 38,000 tanks in the State and an estimated 10,000 of them had been encroached upon. However, officials were yet to ascertain the extent of tank encroachments, he said.
Mr. Balasubramanian appealed to the public to call him on him on 9845970092 and provide information on encroachments of government land. The callers need not reveal their identity, he said. Written information can be sent to the Chairman, Government Land Protection Task Force, II Floor, Deputy Commissioner's Office, City Civil Court Complex, K.G. Road, Bangalore 560009.