BENGALURU: Former chief minister and JD(S) state president H D Kumaraswamy on Monday said that around 177 acres of forest land near Jakkur-Allalasandra area in the city has been encroached by builders and politicians over the years.
Releasing documents pertaining to encroachments and also a list of encroachers that included the name of Heavy Industries Minister R V Deshpande and his wife Radha, Kumaraswamy put the present market value of the encroached land at a whopping `14,000 crore.
The documents also include notices issued by the Forest Department to the 50 encroachers in July 2015. Kumaraswamy charged Deshpande's family of encroaching five acres of land and the present market value of the property was around `450 crore
Deshpande however rejected the charges as baseless and far from the truth. "The land in question was allotted to those who were displaced due to the construction of Tippagondanahalli reservoir. The allotments were made 65 years ago. Neither me nor my family members are among the grantees. The land which I own has changed many hands before I purchased it. Whatever property I and my family members own have been procured through legitimate means, the details of which are already before income tax officials and the Lokayukta," Deshpande said.
"The land for Jakkur Aerodrome was notified in 1940. At the same time, through another Gazette notification, the then government had declared survey numbers 1,2,3,4 and 5 of Jakkur village as Jakkur Plantation Reserve Forests. The encroachments began in 2001, when some people wanted mutation of the land done. However, citing that it was a Reserve Forest, the then Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) declined to make land records for individuals. However, within the next few months, the land records were done by the then Deputy Commissioner," Kumaraswamy said.
"Since then, encroachment has been taking place and many buildings have come up in the area. The issue came to light when the Yalahanka DCF gave a representation to the special tahasildar on June 16, 2015, asking him to issue land records for Jakkur Plantation. He directed the DCF to approach the Special DC and an appeal was filed in Special DC court, which issued notice to 50 people, who have got land records done in their name," he added.
Interestingly, the University of Agriculture Scinces (GKVK) also acquired some land in the area by paying compensation to some individuals, Kumaraswamy said. In the appeal filed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), he has expressed apprehension that at least 150 acres of a total 177 acres and 28 guntas has been encroached.
"The land use changes were against a Supreme Court order and it was being done by some powerful people. They have also sought a detailed investigation into systematic encroachment of the land," the PCCF has stated.