The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), which is investigating a Transferable Development Right (TDR) scam, will be asked to look into various related issues raised by Opposition Leader Padmanabha Reddy. He raised the issue at the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Council meeting on Saturday alleging that civic officials had issued TDR for land that is outside its limits as well as for government-owned plots.
After several councillors pointed out instances of TDR violations, Mayor Gangambike Mallikarjun said a committee would be formed to look into the alleged scam. It would have councillors from all parties.
Mr. Reddy alleged that officials had violated many regulations and issued TDR for over 22 lakh sq.m. of land. “The TDR was introduced in the city with the objective of taking up widening of 216 roads that were notified as per the Revised Master Plan. However, though TDR has been issued, the BBMP is not to take possession of the lands in question in many cases. Only a handful of the roads notified have been widened,” he said.
He alleged that that the civic body did not possess complete details of TDRs issued, whether the khata for lands for which TDR has been issued have been made in favour of the BBMP, or how much TDR has been utilised in the core city areas.
Govindarajanagar councillor K. Umesh Shetty sought to know if the BBMP could issue TDR for lands that lay outside its jurisdiction. Jakkur councillor Muneendra Kumar K.A. claimed that TDR had been issued by officials at the behest of “some vested interests based on fabricated documents”.
According to BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad the civic body used to issue TDR until 2015. The responsibility of issuing TDR had since been handed over to the Bangalore Development Authority. “The ACB is already investigating the TDR issued in respect to widening of the stretch between T.C. Palya and Outer Ring Road. We will urge the ACB to look into all the cases raised by the councillors,” he said.
Dialysis centre or traffic police station?
BBMP councillors and MLAs are fighting over how a parcel of land in the heart of the city should be utilised. While Shantalanagar councillor M.B. Dwarakanath has for more than a year been pushing for construction of a dialysis centre, local MLA N.A. Harris wants the land to be used to house a traffic police station.
Raising the issue on Saturday, Mr. Dwarakanath claimed that a proposal to construct a dialysis centre had been approved by the Council. However, details of the project were changed at the behest of the MLA.
BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad clarified that the land measuring around 3,000 sq.ft., which is owned by the civic body, was initially identified for a dialysis centre and ₹2 crore had been earmarked for the same. “The MLA proposed another spot for the dialysis centre. However, a building exists on the proposed site and is being used by some organisation. We have now altered the design and are proposing a four-storey building on the plot. While the dialysis centre will operate from two floors, the other two floors may be utilised either for a traffic police station or may be rented out,” said Mr. Prasad.