Staff Reporter

108 housing co-op. societies held responsible for the mess

  • `Land meant for civic amenities made into sites and sold'
  • `Urban local bodies failed to save tank beds'

    BANGALORE: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and various house building cooperative societies have come under stinging criticism for forming layouts and distributing thousands of sites without proper conversion.

    The Interim Report of the Joint House Committee of the Legislature, led by A.T. Ramaswamy, on government land encroachments in Bangalore Rural and Bangalore Urban District has said that the BDA had purchased agricultural land and formed sites in a layout at Banashankari III stage and another at Konanakunte in Bangalore south taluk. But the authority had failed to regulate the formation of layouts under the provisions of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act leading to widespread irregularities.

    The report said that unauthorised layouts had been formed by 108 housing cooperative societies such as the Karnataka Judicial Department Employees Housing Cooperative Society, the Vyalikaval HCS, the Ministry of Communication Employees HCS, the Shantinagar HCS, the Vishwabharati HCS, the Aircraft Employees HCS, the NGEF HCS, the N.T.I Employees HCS, the Amarjyoti HCS, and so on.

    The committee suspects that more unauthorised layouts may have come up outside the planning area of the BDA.

    Even the land that should have been earmarked for parks, playgrounds, roads and civic amenities for public utilities have been converted into sites, which was a gross violation of the laws in which the local bodies had connived with promoters.

    A large tract of forestland under the Banneraghatta National Park had been encroached, but the officers concerned failed to stop this. This helped the encroachers in obtaining stay orders against the notices and the department had failed to vacate the same and former have continued to enjoy the land.

    About the sorry state of affairs in the Lake Development Authority, constituted to protect 24 lakes in Bangalore city, the committee alleged that the Chief Executive Officer of the authority had failed to evict the encroachers.

    The various urban local bodies failed to act against private land developers from encroaching tank beds. Strangely, the report said that commencement certificates had been issued for constructing multi-storeyed buildings under section 15 of the Town and Country Planning Act.

    Similar was the case with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board and it had failed to punish those, who let sewage into the lakes and not issued notices for not installing sewage treatment plants within the apartments.