Bangalore : Government land worth Rs.270 billion has been encroached upon in and around Bangalore, a committee of Karnataka legislators said in a report.
"We have so far detected that 27,336 acres of land has been encroached by 33,812 people and at the rate of Rs.10 million per acre, the value will be around Rs.270 billion," the committee of members of the legislative assembly and legislative council said in a report presented to the two houses here Thursday.
The committee, however, did not name the prominent people involved in the encroachments, though its chairman A.T. Ramaswamy said around 280 VIPs could be part of land grabbing.
The committee, comprising 12 from the assembly and five from the council, has recommended that the Goonda Act, which provides for initiating action against drug offenders, gamblers and land grabbers, be invoked against the encroachments and the officials who have connived in the encroachment.
It has also recommended that a special court be set up under the Karnataka Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, on the lines of the one in Andhra Pradesh to deal with land grabbing across the state.
The encroached plots include over 480 acres of dry tank beds in and around Bangalore and forest land in the Bannerghatta National Park on the outskirts of the city.
"Most departments don't maintain a register. So it is impossible to survey and ascertain the extent of encroachments with no information available on the possession of land," the committee said.
It has severely criticised several cooperative societies for illegalities and was particularly harsh on Judicial Employees' House Building Cooperative Society, which has allotted land to several high court and Supreme Court judges.
"It had created an all-India record for being the mother of illegalities, unleashing a tsunami of scandals," the committee said.
It listed the names of judges of both the Supreme Court and Karnataka High Court, both former and present, as allottees of sites by the society. Among the allottees are nine judges, including three chief justices of India, and 76 of the Karnataka High Court, the report said.
Three former judges of the Karnataka High Court have filed a case against the society. Earlier this month, the court took up the petition and has issued notices to the society on charges that include improper allotment.