"Bangalore is the haven for land mafia, real estate sharks and
land encroachers.... The city corporation, the city development authority, the city
municipal councils and other government agencies have failed in their duty...officials
have also become active participants, abettors and promoters of these crimes."
—Interim report of the joint legislature committee on land encroachment in Bangalore urban and rural districts, submitted to the Karnataka Speaker
In Bangalore's political circles, there was always talk of "the great land grab" happening in the Garden City. But the shocking facts that came to light in the interim report of the Joint Legislature Committee (JLC)—set up to look into encroachments facilitated by Karnataka politicians—surprised everyone. The committee, which partially surveyed the city and its suburbs, found that nearly 13,000 acres of public land, worth upwards of Rs 15,000 crore, had been encroached upon. And that's hardly the whole story—nearly 85,000 acres of government land still needs to be surveyed. Notes the JLC report: "At present, 36 surveyors are at work and 247 more surveyors are required to complete the work in two months." The final picture is sure to be a mind-boggling one, showing the true extent of the scam involving big business as well as politicians.