BENGALURU: Normally if forest land is encroached, the forest department approaches courts, seeks orders and recovers the land. But here is a case in Kolar, where the department is feeling helpless as deemed forest land is being used for the construction of a judiciary complex. The property in contention is deemed forest land on Survey Number 14 spread across 9.30 acres.
Karnataka Forest Department officials said, “As per government, cabinet and court orders, the land was declared as a deemed forest in 2017 after a thorough survey and exercise. The orders to survey the land and identify forest patches were issued in 2014.
The land records were also changed. But one-anda- half-years ago, the then Kolar deputy commissioner handed over the land to the judiciary to construct the complex. On Saturday, a team of lawyers also visited the site along with Public Works Department officials to survey the land.” But as per government records, the land belongs to the forest department.
“This is happening because the deputy commissioner’s office had not updated its records. Despite cabinet and court orders, revenue records still show the area as gomala (pasture) land. Now we are unable to file a complaint as the party involved is the judiciary. We are urging the deputy commissioner to set things right by either cancelling the orders or giving the judiciary an alternative piece of land. Entering forest premises without permission is also a violation as per rules,” the forest officials said.
On August 21, the Senior Civil Judge and Judicial Magistrate First Class of Malur wrote to the assistant executive engineer, Department of Works, Ports and Inland Transport, to hand over the land to PWD to carry out a total station survey for a new court complex, an advocates’ association building and residential quarters for judicial officers.