A year ago, the new Transferable Development Rights (TDR) rules were unveiled, in the hope of breaking the logjam of acquiring land in the city. Now, things seem to back to square one, as just five TDR certificates have been issued so far, and not one has been given for projects undertaken by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Starting with Ballari Road and Jayamahal Road widening, BBMP had issued TDR notices for at least seven more projects last year. The flurry of notifications called for more than 2 lakh sq.m. of land that was needed for these road widening projects.
“For most of these projects, objections started pouring in. People didn’t want TDR certificates. They want monetary compensation, which BBMP can’t give,” said an official, who was handling land acquisition in the BBMP.
TDR rules give twice the value of the land in the TDR certificate that can be sold to builders. On the other hand, direct compensation under the Land Acquisition Act 2013 will lead to the civic body paying up twice the value of land in cash. In the case of Sarjapur Road widening, for instance, this amount will be ₹670 crore, which BBMP cannot afford.
Even for those who have agreed, TDR remains a lengthy process. Sources said that of the three proposals sent by BBMP, all were rejected by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), which has to conduct a field visit as well as check land records since 1960s.
“If the BBMP sends files with proper documentation, it would take barely 10 days to clear one file. But they don’t even bother checking if the title deeds are correct, and survey sketches are wrong,” said a BDA official, adding, “They seem to have the same attitude towards documentation, which had made the old policy a failure.”
The confusions over the new TDR rules have done little to meet the high demand for certificates among builders, said R. Ramesh, a property consultant. “Without a regulatory authority or a TDR bank, there is no validity for the certificates given. No one will voluntarily come forward to get TDRs and these projects will continue to remain stuck,” he said.
Without a board, TDR rules will descend into the illegalities and confusions of the old TDR rules, he said.
A meeting between officials of the Urban Development Department, BDA and BBMP did little to resolve the issue. BDA’s suggestion of considering all properties, including agricultural or unconverted properties, as sites to give a higher TDR value was not considered.
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said the TDR process for the major road widening projects were ‘still under way’ and the mistakes pointed out by BDA were being corrected.
Validation of old TDR finds numerous illegalities
Under the old TDR rules, which gave 1.5 times the guidance value as TDR value, certificates had been given for over 22.66 lakh sq.m. of acquired land. However, barely half of these certificates have been utilised, and the rest continue to pour into the BDA for validation.
During validation, sources said nearly half the files were rejected as being dubious while the TDR value of others are being cut. “There are a lot of issues in these TDRs, which we are finding through out visits. In some cases, the roads have not been widened, and yet TDR has been given to households living near the area. In others, TDR values have been overstated,” said the source.