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K.S. Gowda Educational Trust has sought the land
‘It is revenue land, on which Forest Department has been allowed to take up social forestry'
D.V. Sadananda Gowda
MANGALORE: Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Mangalore, Vijay Kumar has ordered a fresh survey of 10.5 acres of land which is in the process of being allotted to K.S. Gowda Educational Trust in Sullia taluk.
D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Bharatiya Janata Party MP, is the honorary president of the trust. The survey was ordered following a complaint by the local panchayat.
Mr. Gowda had written to Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy on July 11, 2008, requesting that he direct the authorities concerned to grant the request for land in survey number 171/P7 in Kalmadka Gram Panchayat limits in Sullia taluk as it was for a “good” purpose.
Though the land belonged to the Revenue Department, it was given to the Department of Forests for social forestry, according to documents available with The Hindu.
Hence, a no-objection certificate was necessary for the revenue officials from the Forest Department if the land had to be transferred to any other institution. Subsequent to the letter by Mr. Gowda, the Sullia tahsildar sought an NOC from the Department of Forests.
The DCF had, in a letter to the Sullia tahsildar on August 31, 2010, said that the tahsildar could proceed in the matter as the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Subramanya Subdivision, had reported that the area sought for the trust was outside the land where social forestry had been taken up.
However, an entry in an official document available with this correspondent — a survey map of land requested by the trust — points out that the Department of Forests has planted trees on this land.
Kalmadka panchayat member Abdul Gafur maintained that the Department of Forests had planted several trees on the land in survey number 171/P7 under the social forestry scheme. He said that the land was being granted to the trust “under political pressure”. He said the panchayat had been seeking 20 acres of land within the same survey number since 2006 for providing public amenities to village residents, but the request had been denied, stating that the area had been earmarked for social forestry.
Questions are being raised about an entry in “checklist”, an official document made by the tahsildar regarding the land, where it is mentioned that no previous requests were made for the land sought by the trust. However, documents show that the panchayat had sought the land for providing public amenities.
Mr. Vijay Kumar said that he ordered a re-survey of the land after he received complaints in this connection. He said that if the land belonged to the Department of Forests, permission given to the trust would be withdrawn.
Tahsildar Vaidyanath said that he would write to the Department of Forests on the “contradiction” in providing NOC to the trust while refusing it to the panchayat.
He said it was revenue land, on which the Department of Forests had been allowed to take up social forestry.
M. Gangadhar, a resident of the village, has filed a complaint with the Lokayukta against Mr. Gowda, Sullia MLA Angara, the Sullia tahsildar and the DCF.
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