Wednesday, February 1, 2012
News Article: Campaign against encroachment of public lands launched
Bangalore, January 27 2012, DHNS;
The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) has launched a campaign against encroachment of public lands in the State.
The committee had earlier approached officers concerned seeking action against encroachers. But with the government not responding, it has now started creating awareness among the public about the huge land scams in the State and urging people to pressure the government to take action.
At a press conference on Friday, S R Hiremath, founder-president of NCPNR, said that of the 17 task forces appointed since 2009, the V Balasubramanian Task Force was the only one that had been prematurely dissolved at an important juncture when the probe against encroachment of government land was on.
Balasubramanian had compiled a detailed report on the land scam and had written to Justice Shivaraj Patil, former Lokayukta, explaining the situation in the State.
The report claimed the scam was worth 1.95 lakh crore, much bigger than the mining scam involving the Reddy brothers, and the 2G spectrum scam.
The report also states that out of 12 lakh acres of public land identified as encroached in Karnataka in the last two years, only 47,000 acres were recovered. Also, of the 76 lakh acres of forest land in Karnataka, about 1.65 lakh acres were reported by the department as being encroached. In the name of industrial development, builders use it for real estate purposes, NCPNR said.
Hiremath said the letter was sent to Justice Patil on September 9 last year and they were still waiting for action from the government’s end.
“When the executive has failed to take initiative in this regard, it becomes the responsibility of the legislature to take the government to task under the powers vested in it by the Constitution,” Hiremath said.
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