A public interest litigation was filed in the High Court on Thursday seeking a high-level probe into the alleged grabbing of about 11 lakh acres of public land worth Rs 1.95 lakh crore across the State.
S R Hiremath and others of Samaja Parivartana Samudaya NGO have filed the PIL based on the ‘Task Force for Recovery of Public Land and Its Protection’ report released by a government constituted body in 2011.
“As per the report the land encroached, includes over 1 lakh acres in ecological sensitive areas of Western Ghats and around 27,336 acres in Bangalore Rural worth over `40,000 crores,” Hiremath said.
When the government failed to take any “decisive action” on the report submitted by V Balasubramanian, chairman of the task force, the NGO initially petitioned the Supreme Court regarding the issue.
However, a Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai suggested that the PIL be first heard in the High Court before approaching it.
“Of the land nominally under government, the area under encroachment as reported by the officers of the Revenue Department, Forest Department and other departments and statutory bodies is 11.07 lakh acres or about 10 per cent of the total government land,” the report said. “This obviously is an under-reporting and the encroachment could be anywhere around 12 to 15 lakh acres constituting around 15 per cent of the total land,” it added.