BENGALURU: Rules on the allotment of Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) sites are clear and the agency will be instructed to initiate action to reclaim sites allotted to at least 115 political leaders, who already owned sites, in violation of regulations, city development minister KJ George said.
In its September 1 edition, TOI had reported about these allotments, headlined ‘BDA allots plots to 115 netas who already possess sites‘. “There is generally no suo motu action taken. Now that the media has brought this to my notice, I will instruct the BDA commissioner, who has the authority to reclaim the sites, or do what the rules prescribe,” he said.
Official documents indicate that politicians, cutting across party lines, have obtained sites in violation of Rule 10(3) of the BDA (Allotment of Sites) Rules, 1984. The rule stipulates that the agency cannot, under any category, grant sites to those who, or whose family members, are already in possession of a site. The relevant data pertaining to politicians owning one or multiple properties was obtained from affidavits submitted by politicians to the Election Commission, copies of which are available with TOI.
“The BDA Act is very clear. It says no person who owns a site, or whose family members own a site, can be allotted BDA sites. The same holds good for all cooperative societies’ sites, where the BDA has granted them land. So, if they already have sites, the allotments are clearly illegal,” George told media on Sunday. He added that the BDA commissioner was empowered under the Act to cancel the allotments.
“If a person comes forward voluntarily and declares the site was obtained in violation of the rules, and want to return it, BDA must then reimburse the deposit money. However, if the BDA finds the allotment was made by wrongful means, they have to forfeit the deposit money. Applicants are supposed to file an affidavit stating they do not have another site,” George said. In its September 3 edition, TOI had reported that the huge plots of land allotted to 115 politicians can fulfil the dreams of at least 230 citizens, headlined ‘BDA can take back sites given to 115 netas, fulfil 230 dreams’. Cumulatively, the land allotted to these politicians measures over 4 lakh sqft.
The figure of 230 citizens is a conservative estimate, arrived at by dividing each of the allotted sites in two. The sites allotted to politicians are at least 40x60sqft, while a majority measure 50x80sqft, and each one can be fragmented into at least two sites. These sites would be still larger than the 30x40sqft sites BDA allots to most citizens. However, if all sites were to measure 30x40sqft, a minimum of 333 people would benefit from the cancellation of the allotments, while twice as many would benefit if the sites allotted are of 20x30ft dimension.
Credits ET Realty