In what may turn out to be a controversial move just before the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) polls, the State government has decided to regularise 3,699 acres of encroachments of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) land in the city.

These land parcels are estimated to have 66,500 sites and, according to BDA officials, are together worth nearly Rs. 6,000 crore today.

These land parcels, spread across 68 BDA layouts, were notified and acquired by the BDA during the formation of the respective layouts.

The BDA, however, has not taken possession of these lands and private individuals have encroached upon them and the area has seen dense development over the last three decades. Though the BDA has the titles of these land parcels, private individuals have had their possession.

Not just that, most of these cases are currently pending before the courts as the property owners have either challenged the acquisition or have sought title deed.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Sunday that most of these land parcels had been developed into residential areas and had about 66,500 sites. “It is not possible for the government to evict all these residents and hence we have decided to regularise these possessions with a fee, which is being worked out,” he said.

“Presently, there is an impasse and the government neither has revenue nor possession of these properties. With this move, the government will bring closure to thousands of property owners and bring thousands of crores in revenue to the BDA,” he said.

However, the move has earned the ire of civic activists who said that this would send out a wrong signal like the Akrama-Sakrama scheme. N.S. Mukunda of Citizen Action Forum, who also questioned the Akrama-Sakrama scheme, told The Hindu that any regularisation of illegality should be opposed as it discriminates against law-abiding citizen.