Senior IAS officer H. Siddaiah, who returned as Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner for a second stint, has come under the scanner of the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) as a ‘suspect officer’ for his alleged role in the DLF case.
The BMTF, probing the DLF scam that involved illegal widening of a road to facilitate an increase in the floor area ratio (FAR) of an apartment complex, had named Mr. Siddaiah, his predecessor Bharat Lal Meena, besides the former Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) Commissioner Pradeep Singh Kharola among the three IAS officers whose role had surfaced during its investigation “based on oral and documentary evidence”.
In a letter to Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, dated November 29, 2012, the BMTF had sought to place under suspension these three officials, besides 23 others of the BDA and BBMP, to facilitate fair probe.
However, the government chose to ignore the BMTF’s recommendation and brought Mr. Siddaiah back to the BBMP from the Higher Education Department where he was serving as Principal Secretary, thus replacing Commissioner Rajneesh Goel.
The report also names several senior officials of the BBMP and the BDA as “suspect officials” for having allegedly colluded to allow the DLF to up the FAR for its projects, violating BBMP bylaws and BDA’s master plan.
Charge against Shettar
Meanwhile, RTI activist Dinesh Kallahalli accused Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar of trying to hush up the matter by bringing back the same “suspect” officials. He plans to seekGovernor H.R. Bhardwaj’s intervention in the matter as the Chief Minister was involved.
Speaking at a press conference here on Saturday, Mr. Kallahalli said Tirakana Goudar, Town Planning Member (TPM) in the BDA, who was reinstated to his post while he was out on bail, was also being favoured by the Chief Minister.
The BMTF has arrested Mr. Goudar, who was charged with helping DLF Southern Homes legalise construction beyond what was permitted on a civic amenity (CA) site. He was accused of approving the widening of the Hulimavu-Begur Road to legalise DLF Southern Homes illegal construction.
“DLF constructed 1,962 flats instead of the 440 for which they had taken permission. We are not even able to get documents under the Right to Information Act. We want the Governor to intervene,” Mr. Kallahalli said.