Chennai: Encroachment of seven per cent of government land at state level, which went up to 24 per cent in the state capital, has serious consequences with private individuals grabbing government land.
The report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India stated this in its conclusion.
The report said non-availability of reliable data on encroachments, inadequacies in enabling statutes and non-adherence to the established systems for management of government lands dented the efforts to protect the lands from encroachments. Lack of co-ordination between revenue and other line departments, coupled with laxities on the part of the field level officers caused difficulties in evicting the encroachers, the report added.
The report said environmentally sensitive water bodies became easy targets for encroachment as the revenue department and water resource department failed in discharging their legally mandated duties to survey and mark boundaries of tanks. Instead of seeking alienation of suitable land and totally unmindful of the damage, it causes to the environment, various government agencies took recourse to encroach water bodies to construct public buildings. Monitoring was absent as the High Level Committee at state level did not meet regularly to address the issues connected with eviction of encroachments, the report added.
The report also made four recommendations to the government. They are : 1) The government land registry may be made capable of capturing “objectionable” and “unobjectionable” government lands distinctly so as to ensure better management of government lands. 2) The government may consider bringing rivers, streams, tanks and ooranis, under the purview of the Tamil Nadu Protection of Tanks and Eviction of Encroachment Act, 2007and ensure a time bound survey of all water bodies. 3) In order to overcome the coordination issues between water resource department and revenue department in surveying the water bodies, the government may consider creation of survey units in WRD divisions/circles, in line with similar survey units functioning in urban local bodies. 4) Monitoring needs strengthening by reactivating high level committee.