Karnataka sets up panel to protect its land

August 27th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 27 (IANS) Karnataka is setting up an agency, the Karnataka Public Land Corporation, to secure thousands of acres of government land taken back from encroachers and ensure its proper utilisation.The state has in recent months recovered from encroachers 8,700 acres of land in and around Bangalore and 5,000 acres more - worth Rs.500 billion at the current market rates - is under illegal occupation, according to official figures.

“The government has recovered 8,700 acres of land in and around Bangalore and out of this about 350 acres will be auctioned in public,” cabinet spokesperson and Rural Development Minister Shobha Karandlaje told reporters Thursday after a cabinet meeting decided to set up the land corporation.

“The new corporation will protect the recovered land,” she said.

On Wednesday, Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol said about 5,000 acres of land in Bangalore worth Rs.500 billion have been encroached and the government is taking steps to clear encroachements.

Most of this land was dried-up lake beds.

Karjol said Bangalore had 72 lakes, many of which have dried up, and the government was conducting a survey to assess the extent of encroachment. The survey is still on, he said.

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