Sad that guardians of our borders can't protect their own land, says Chandrasekhar

If all the land owned by the defence authorities were to be consolidated, it would be the 28th state in country.

Bengaluru: “It is sad that the guardians of our border who keep Pakistan and China at bay cannot protect their own land,” Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Deccan Chronicle on Monday. “That is because, the Armed Forces have no authority to reclaim encroached land,” he said.

“At most, the defence ministry can file an FIR. It is the BBMP and the police who have to reclaim the land on behalf of the armed forces and everybody knows they are compromised or rather hand-in-glove with land grabbers,” he said.

If all the land owned by the defence authorities were to be consolidated, it would be the 28th state in country. At 7,110, it would be bigger than Sikkim (7,096 In Karnataka alone, defence land is 33,124.71 acres. Of this, 5332 acres are in Bengaluru. A PAC report in 2013 had pointed out that the area of encroachment of Defence land increased from 6,903 acres in January 1997 to 14,539.38 acres in July 2009.

There are various reasons for these encroachments, he said. “It is very difficult to fence every acre of land in possession of the defence forces. Some of these pieces of land have been encroached upon by the poor who depend on the land for their survival. It is a sensitive issue. Poor who have encroached on defence land have to be rehabilitated and resettled. It is a very sensitive issue,” Mr Chandrasekhar said.

“It is the rich who encroach upon defence land that we should go after firmly. They should be a no-tolerance attitude towards these rich parties who grab land,” he said.

Last month, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to inform it about the steps taken to recover the defence land under encroachment, but the possibility of recovering the land, which is 14,539 acres all over the country, is remote.
Is there is any hope of recovering these lands by the Defence forces? Not likely, according to the PAC.

“Getting the lands vacated would become difficult as in the land records of the state governments, these will not be shown as possessed by the Defence Ministry,” the PAC had said.

Mr Chandrasekhar seems to agree, partially. “It is not impossible but recovering encroached defence land is going to be very difficult as the situation is very complicated,” he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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