Board to net Rs. 1,309 crore by selling 19,581 old properties

The Karnataka Housing Board, which launched its first-ever audit of properties across the State, has identified 19,581 KHB sites of different sizes that have not been allotted by it. In many cases, the board was not even aware that the sites belonged to it. The sale of these sites will fetch the board Rs.1,309 crore.

Disclosing this to mediapersons, Housing Minister V. Somanna gave some details of sites in some towns and said 1,868 sites in Bangalore, 1,027 in Gadag, 574 in Belgaum had been taken possession of and the work of fencing the properties had begun. He said that 510 civic amenities sites and 561 commercial sites had been detected and they would be auctioned. The board, since its inception in 1954, had taken up 1,058 schemes under which it distributed 1,20,000 houses and 65,000 sites across the State.

Mr. Somanna said there was a demand for 12 lakh sites from the poor in the State, and as a first step the board was taking up a programme to form four lakh sites at a cost of Rs. 2,000 crore. Of this amount, he said, the board had Rs.1,000 crore with it and the remaining Rs.1,000 crore would be invested by the State government and HUDCO. This programme would be implemented this financial year.

In view of the past experience when people had taken more than one site giving false records, the Minister said that the government was bringing in legislation for curbing this avarice. Legal action would be initiated against those, who take sites violating the rules depriving the genuine families. Under the Basava Vasati scheme, he said 1.90 lakh houses had almost been built of the four lakh planned, and the beneficiaries would be selected.

The district-level committees headed by the Chief Executive Officer of the zilla panchayat concerned with Panchayat Development Officer and the representatives of the Grama Sabha would select the beneficiaries and total transparency would be maintained using GPS. Action was taken against some gram panchayats, which misused the sites by allotting them among the members and their relatives. The amount for such houses had been raised to Rs. 75,000 from Rs. 50,000 fixed by the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. All the details of the beneficiaries would be put on the website.

Allegation denied

On the allegation by Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah that all his claims of distributing Aasare houses were bogus, Mr. Somanna said 48,000 houses had been given to flood-ravaged families in north Karnataka region. In Varuna Assembly constituency, Mr. Siddaramaiah had asked for 9,000 sites and all of them had been sanctioned and he had again asked for 2,000 sites more.

Why even after Mr. Siddaramaiah’s fifth term in the Assembly, so many poor families had been living without their own homes? he asked. Denying the charge that he was constructing a commercial complex on Marenahalli High School premises, Mr. Somanna said that it was during his tenure as an MLA that the school building was built by Nirmiti.

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