Demolition on Iblur lake bund: Warning bell for builders and buyers

A decisive action was taken to restore encroached land by the officials of the Bengaluru Urban district. Dayananda, Tahsildar (Bangalore South taluk) must be commended for braving all obstacles in doing the job and restoring the encroached land on Ibblur lake bed. These officials must be given due credit that they stood the ground, followed the procedures and rescued illegally encroached land, sometimes bringing grave danger to their lives.
Ibblur lake has 18 acres and 6 guntas per the certified survey records. Of that, a good chunk went to Outer Ring Road during the early 2000s. With real estate booming in Bellandur, vested interests dominating, the lake area steadily shrunk in the face of encroachment in all four sides of the current lake expanse.

To facilitate movements of residents and to justify the constructions that came up in the vicinity, tarred roads came up illegally on three sides of the lake eating into the lake area – with no proper sanctions by the Forest department. Sheds, compounds of private properties, apartments, basements, shops, guarage, hotel, burial ground and what not? The current expanse of the lake (and the adjoining park) is now reduced to around 12 acres.

Local residents grouped together in early 2013 to constitute Ibblur Lake Forum, a federation of local bodies, aimed at restoring and preserving the lake. In tandem, due procedure was followed by the Bangalore South Taluk office, eight encroachers were given notices in Jan 2013 and the said encroachers were provided with adequate time to respond.

In July 2013, the Survey Department constituted another survey to verify that the survey was consistent. In November 2013, eviction orders were passed. These were appealed and stayed by at least one of the named parties via Writ petitions.

Following that, in December 2013, the High Court disposed of all pending appeals, but made provision of one month to appeal before the Assistant Commissioner, Bangalore South, on humanitarian considerations. Re-surveys did not contradict the original Survey and it culminated with the events of 4 March 2014, which led to the demolition of encroachment. There were no surprises here for the parties who were named for encroaching Ibblur lake land.

At the same time, it was a harsh reality and wake-up call for many dwellers who bought their apartments from some of the most prestigious developers in the good faith that their homes were secured with the right land records and ultimately safe, because the government was never known to act on the side of the law.

This may prove to be a crucial defining moment in the history of Bangalore. Residents who may have bought their homes, even from well-known builders, cannot always be sure. The District Office and Revenue Department officials were merely following procedure. Citizens need to now start following their own strategy by verifying of their land documents.

Related Articles

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Encroachment of Bangalore’s lakes continues unabated
Demolish the walls of secrecy that facilitate encroachment!

4 Comments

  1. I pity the owners and the developers….As these govt workers (tahsildar) don’t produce the order copy to the residents or to the developers as they would have the fear (owners and the developers would get a stay order from High Court). Also they are huge political pressure on them to get the buildings demolished to prove a certain point for their remarkable duty done.
    Off-late they was an incident were one of the tahsildar and his fellow partners were caught red handed in some bribe issue by some kannada news channel and this was later compromised by some political person which was not brought to the limelight of common people.
    As far as the politicians they have constructed commercial buildings on residential zone example (HSR Layout and Koramangala) also those properties are not registered under their names. There are few cases which are been pending against them in the High Court and has not moved any further from past 10 years

  2. Why the concerned authorities were sleeping when those high ranking builders were getting constructed big apartments to attract and getting money invested in purchase of such apartments by civilians? What is the fault of purchasers who invested their hard earned money to get shelter out of which might be retirees also, who settle themselves in spending a hard chunk of their retirement benefits ?

  3. The author, while trying to make his point, has been utterly insensitive to the feelings of the aggrieved residents. “Defining moment”, “wake-up call” … but at whose cost? If the authorities indeed wanted to send a signal, they should have gone and arrested the builder and the BBMP officials who granted the approvals (OC, Khata, …) in front of media. Instead they targeted some innocent and helpless citizens to show their might. If I understand correctly, even parts of ORR is built on the lake bed. Why are these areas not being reclaimed? I am sorry I cannot appreciate the Tehsildar for bravery here.
    P.S.: I am not a resident of Sobha Garnet, nor do I know any of the residents personally.

  4. One should be very careful when booking a flat close to a lake. The builders put up fancy advertisements like Lake View, Lake Facing, etc. What if the flat is coming up on lake encroachments like these. Need to be very careful if there is just a mud road separating the lake and the project.

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