Even after completion, BDA's lake to land layouts still have paperworks to do

In the absence of a government policy, the DC (Urban) is legally bound to demolish illegal layouts, says Upalokayukta.— File PhotoS: Bhagya Prakash k.  

Though the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act, 1896 for lake and tank bed land where it has developed 13 layouts, it had not obtained written permission from the Revenue Department, which owns these lands.

Not just that, even decades after the layouts were developed, the land has not been transferred from the Revenue Department to the BDA. This means that BDA allotted sites on land which it neither owned nor possessed.

In its defence, the BDA claimed that layouts were formed only in dried-up lakes, which had lost the characteristics of a water body, such as storage capacity, shape and size. The BDA is now seeking legal opinion of the Advocate General on this issue. BDA Commissioner

T. Sham Bhatt said restoring lake bodies had not been high on its agenda in the decades gone by. The BDA had notified many dried-up and unused lakes to provide for the city’s housing needs.

Two former BDA Commissioners, who did not wish to be named, concurred with this view. One of them even said that in some cases, this had led to misuse of funds as BDA may have paid compensation to encroachers.

The Upalokayukta had summoned the BDA Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, Bengaluru (Urban), after people whose properties were demolished in the recent encroachment clearance drives complained that the district administration had targeted private individuals while overlooking encroachments by the BDA. Upalokayukta Subhash B. Adi told The Hindu that the law would not differentiate between encroachments by BDA or individuals, and the DC (Urban) is legally bound to demolish BDA’s layouts as well, in the absence of the government intervening and formulating a policy.

He added that many public buildings, including Kempegowda Bus Station, have come up on lakes.

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Printable version | Sep 14, 2021 12:10:26 AM |

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