KARNATAKA

Coalition partners clash over layout in Hassan city

Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: Hassan Urban Development Authority's (HUDA) plan to develop "S.M. Krishna Nagar" on the Hassan-Arsikere road has come in handy for the coalition partners in the district to settle their political score.

While the Congress, which initiated the project, is accusing the Janata Dal (Secular) of ignoring it after the formation of the coalition Government in the State, the latter is blaming the previous HUDA body headed by Congress leader B.K. Manjunath of "mismanaging" the project.

G. Puttaswamy Gowda, former MP, accused HUDA recently of misguiding people. He also alleged that various commercial banks in the district are receiving applications illegally from people.

Interest

Mr. Gowda alleged that Deputy Commissioner K.H. Aswhathanarayana Gowda, who is the administrator of HUDA, has not taken steps to develop the layout and not paid interest on the Rs. 13.02 crores borrowed from Vijaya Bank for land acquisition, despite repeated reminders.

However, countering the allegations levelled by Mr. Gowda, Hassan MLA H.S. Prakash here on Saturday accused the previous HUDA body of mismanaging the project.

He also accused the authority of not completing any project taken up by it so far.

Satellite town

He noted that HUDA planned to develop a satellite town with 5,000 sites on an area of 453 hectares on the outskirts of the city at a cost of Rs. 58.31crores. The authority has borrowed Rs. 15 crores from Vijaya Bank and spent Rs. 13.02 crores to pay compensation to landowners. The work on developing the layout was handed over to the Land Army Corporation in 2004, which submitted a Rs. 34.84-crore proposal to the Government.

Water supply

However, as the corporation had not made provision for permanent underground drainage and drinking water supply, the proposal was rejected. It was decided to invite tenders in accordance with the Transparency Act of 1999.

It was also planned to avail technical assistance from the Karnataka Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (KUIDC).

Proposal

The KUIDC submitted a Rs. 75.62-crore proposal in November 2004 to construct permanent underground drainage system and supply drinking water from the Yagachi.

The Government, which approved the proposal, directed the authorities concerned to collect 25 per cent of site value from applicants.

Mr. Prakash alleged that the previous body did not conduct the "demand survey" before planning the layout, and paid an uniform price to landowners without assessing the land value.

Excess loan?

While HUDA needed Rs. 13.02 crores, Vijaya Bank sanctioned Rs. 15 crores, he added.

Reacting to the allegations of other commercial banks collecting 25 per cent of site value along with the application, Mr. Prakash said an offer was initially made to Vijaya Bank, to which the land is likely to be mortgaged.

However, on refusal by the bank, other commercial banks were allowed to collect the applications, he added.

Last date

He said November 21 is the last date to receive applications. HUDA will develop the layout and handover sites to applicants in six months, he added.