BU has lost more than 100 acres while Kuvempu University, more than 40 acres to encroachments

After attempting to reclaim public land from land sharks, the state government has now set its eyes on the higher education institutes.

Alarmed by the large-scale land grabbing in and around universities, the higher education department has now cracked the whip on land sharks. Among all the universities, Bangalore University tops the chart with the highest extent of land being encroached upon.

Determined to get the land back from encroachers, a high-level joint-departmental meeting comprising, higher education, revenue and police officials has been summoned next week by the Higher Education Minister. Sources in the department said the issue came to the government’s notice when it was trying to get a piece of land to set up the Bengaluru School of Economics. Subsequently, a land audit of all the universities revealed large scale encroachment of land belonging to various universities.

While BU has lost more than 100 acres of its 1,100 acres, the Kuvempu University in Shivamogga has lost more than 40-50 acres. The Mysore University located in the heart of Mysuru has also lost about 10 to 20 acres. “The minister has had a meeting with V-Cs and registrars in this regard and ordered the survey and mapping of boundaries of the universities. The preliminary report on land audit has revealed that Bangalore University has lost more than 100 acres. Most of it is occupied by private layouts, temples, graveyards, commercial complexes and public utilities. The Mysore University campus has also been encroached upon by small layouts, parks and temples,” a senior officer said.

Reacting on the issue Higher Education Minister Basavaraja Rayareddi said, “The land, especially at BU, is worth several crores. When we require land for any project there is hardly any available. No university is serious about reclaiming the land and hence we have intervened and sought the help of the revenue department. I have called for a joint meeting with Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, Bengaluru In-charge Minister KJ George and City Police Commissioner to take up a eviction drive on the encroached land.”

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Photo source: chmoss via Flickr/Creative Commons (CC By-NC-ND 2.0). Photo: © chmoss

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