The State Government has overlooked critical provisions of the Bangalore International Airport Planning Area Authority (BIAPAA) Master Plan 2021 and notified 2,100 acres of agricultural land in the vicinity of Bengaluru International Airport as an industrial area for the proposed Centre-sponsored IT Investment Region (ITIR) project.

According to the master plan, the 2,100 acres comes under the agricultural zone category and will continue to be so classified till 2021, sources in the BIAPAA told The Hindu. The master plan provisions state that any proposal in regard to a change in zoning/land-use pattern should be published on BIAPAA and Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) notice-boards, inviting objections from the public within a period not less than 15 days from the date of publication, the sources said.

However, without inviting any objections from the public in this regard, the Government has declared 2,100 acres as an industrial area under Section 3 (1) of the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) Act, 1966, and issued a gazette notification (CI 443spq2009) on June 9, 2010. Besides, the Government issued a preliminary notification the same day for acquisition of the land.

In its eagerness to get the Centre's clearance for the ITIR project, the Government notified the area as an industrial zone despite opposition by the BIAPAA, the sources said.

Incidentally, the State Government is following the legislation/guidelines of the BIAPAA, a local body set up by an enactment for the purpose of zoning and planning the ITIR project as the proposed area is the under the jurisdiction of the BIAPAA.

Asked about the apparent violation of the master plan provisions, the sources said the authorities in the Government had informed the BIAPAA that it could call for objections when the KIADB approached it in future seeking formal permission for changing the land-use.

When contacted, a senior KIADB official said that after completing the land acquisition process, for which a preliminary notification had been issued, they would apply to the BIAPAA for change of land-use pattern. The BIAPAA could then call for objections, he added.

The Zoning of Land Use Regulations of the BIAPAA were framed under the provisions of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961. The regulations were put in place “to ensure proper land use and development and to protect residential areas from harmful invasions of commercial and industrial uses”. In fact, nearly 50 per cent of the total area in the jurisdiction of the BIAPAA comes under residential zone, the sources said.

The 2,100 acres of land is situated in Rabbanahalli, Ramanathapura, Aravanahalli, Doddagollahalli, Chapparadahalli and Byradenahalli in Devanahalli taluk and Linganahalli in Doddaballapur taluk of Bangalore Rural district.

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