The “persistent irregularities” in transferring open space reservation (OSR) area by the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) to local bodies such as Chennai Corporation has been recorded in the recent audit report of the annual accounts of CMDA.
According to the audit report of CMDA annual accounts for 2010-2011, tabled in the Assembly on Monday, over 15,097 sq. m. of OSR land were not handed over to local bodies in 2011 by CMDA even after similar “irregularities” were pointed out in the previous year.
The OSR lands mentioned in the audit report are located in Ramapuram, Tondiarpet, Aminjikarai, Sholinganallur, Velachery, Pallavaram, Nanmangalam and Ayanambakkam. The largest of the OSR lands is over 4,600 sq. m. and most of the OSR lands are within Chennai Corporation limits.
This report has been released at a time when the civic body has been struggling to identify lands for parks and playgrounds in the city.
The previous audit report observed that the number of OSR sites gifted by applicants touched 216, of which 137 sites were not handed over to local bodies. The 137 OSR lands measured more than 70 acre. The details of 16.17 acre of OSR land were not available online. The audit report also observed: “The land value of the OSR sites have increased manifold.”
The acknowledgement of many local bodies even after taking over OSR lands was not received by CMDA. CMDA has to collect an extract of property register from the local body and keep it in the division where the register for OSR sites is maintained. As per development regulations, the space reserved for community recreational purpose shall be transferred to the CMDA or to the local body designated by it free of cost through a registered gift deed.
Enough care and vigilance is required “to protect them from encroachment,” the report said.