In July 2007, the State government handed over 326.18 acres in 17 localities in the city (including 11.11 acres in Uttarahalli) to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for housing projects after the authority identified the land. The housing project entailed reservation of 40 per cent to the poor, who had been evicted for encroachment. This land was part of 7,800 acres of government land recovered from encroachers.
In a surprise move, on May 25, 2009, the BDA returned the land in Uttarahalli and 7.35 acres in survey number 125 in Gottigere to the government stating that the two parcels of land had boulders, thus unfit for housing projects.
Interestingly, a week later — June 1, 2009, the trust wrote to the Revenue Department seeking allotment of 11.11 acres and followed it up with the Special Deputy Commissioner and also Revenue Minister G. Karunakar Reddy. In the letter to the Revenue Minister, the trust claimed: “Since we do not take donation and the land requires huge amount of money for development, the land may be allotted at 25 per cent of the guidance value.”
Subsequently, the B.S. Yeddyurappa Cabinet approved the allotment at 50 per cent of the guidance value despite the Finance Ministry recommending allotment at the market value (see main story for details).
Currently, a public school has come up in a portion of a land that has been allotted.
Wg. Cdr. G.B. Athri, who submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah recently seeking a probe, said that the government should have rejected the BDA’s claim that it could not develop the land since it was rugged. “Instead, the government should have questioned the expertise of BDA and kept the land for public purposes.”