BENGALURU: The High Court on Friday issued notice to various departments of the state government and the Kolar district administration in connection with a public interest petition on the alleged encroachment of Antaragange hillock by real estate agents.
The plea was filed by Kolar Taluk Mango and Vegetable Growers’ Society and Sasya Sanjeevini Organic Trust. A division bench comprising Justice K L Manjunath and Justice S Sujatha issued notices to the Chief Secretary, Forest and Environment Principal Secretary, the Revenue Department, the joint director of town and country planning, the Kolar Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police.
The bench also issued a notice to Nirvan Sai Builders and Developers, Bengaluru, and Hazrat Usman Shah, Kolar, the real estate agents who have allegedly put up concrete structures on the hillock, colluding with politicians.
The petitioners alleged that the real estate group, hand in glove with elected representatives, had laid a road to the hilltop.
They accused authorities of allowing land sharks to enter forest areas. They said they had submitted a memorandum to the then Kolar Deputy Commissioner in October last year. “But the real estate agents succeeded in getting the DC transferred abruptly,” the petition stated.
They expressed concern over the impact on the rare species of medicinal plants in the hillock, which is spread across 1,316 acres. Antaraganga, is ranked second in the state in production of precious medicinal and herbal plants. Now it is becoming a concrete jungle, the petitioner said.
Advocate Shivaprakash, representing petitioners, said aparts from acquiring small holdings on the hillock, the real estate agents had tampered with forest records to lure people into purchasing plots and resorts on the hillock.