Officials surreptitiously denotify 10 acres for builder

Officials of the Bangalore Development Authority and the Urban Development Department are in the dock for surreptitiously denotifying 10 acres of land meant for a layout in Bangalore South and transferring it to a private builder.

The land was earlier notified, converted into a layout, divided into sites and had been allotted to 24 applicants.

Despite having denotified the land and handing it over to a private builder of a gated residential villa project, the BDA continued to collect property taxes from the 24 allottees.

The issue came to light when Indian Navy Commander N. Sharavana, who is one among the 24 beneficiaries, went to clean his site, and was threatened by the staff of the real estate company. Sensing something fishy, Cdr. Sharavana went to the BDA and applied for the relevant documents through the Right To Information Act. To his shock, the papers showed that the layout had been denotified in favour of Sri Krishna Constructions, owned by one Purohit Jugraj.

“The BDA denotified the land seven years ago and the whole process has been kept under wraps,” said Cdr. Sharavana in his complaint to the Bangalore Metropolitan Task force (BMTF).

The BDA had not intimated the site owners about the denotification. Not only that, it continues to collect property tax from the allottees till date, he said.

Cdr. Sharavana had been allotted a BDA site measuring 50 by 80 feet in the layout on Survey No. 20, Nagadevanahalli, Kengeri Hobli in 2003. Documents obtained through RTI revealed that the BDA had denotified the layout in 2007 vide an order (UDD/815/MNX/2005) dated 28/07/2007.

The gated community project called White Waters, which is coming up on the land, has been given permission inappropriately by the authorities concerned, Cdr. Sharavana’s complaint alleged.

He said the site he was allotted through BDA is the only piece of land he owns. “In the 16 years of my military service I have no property anywhere in India,” his complaint said. Till date, the 24 allottees continue to pay property taxes. In fact, the BDA despite knowing the status of the layout, despatched tax notices to the allotees for August 2014, he said.

Reacting to the complaint, the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force has issued a notice to the BDA seeking an explanation. In turn, BDA officials have issued a notice to the White Waters project of Sri Krishna Constructions directing it to stop its building activities on the site.

This action has brought relief to the original allottees of the site as well as those who booked the villas in the project and who were not aware of the background, a site owner who did not want to be indentified, told The Hindu.

We had no role: BDA

Asked to comment, BDA Commissioner T. Sham Bhat said the land in question was denotified in 2006 by the State government and the BDA has no role to play.

However, based on the complaint, a team of officials has been sent to conduct total station survey. “We are going to ensure the interest of allottees are not harmed and will even give assistance like police security if they want to construct their houses in the layout, as they are the original owners of the plot,” an official said.

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