Illegal BDA layouts may be regularised

Thursday, June 9, 2016. That could be a red-letter day for around 1.5 lakh property owners in Bengaluru living in colonies tagged ‘illegal’ for over three decades. The state cabinet will decide whether or not to denotify layouts and accord them a legal status.

These 1.5 lakh properties are spread over more than 5,000 acres which were notified by the Bangalore Development Authority but were never acquired. People who decided to build their homes in such notified areas continue to live with an ‘illegal colony’ label to this day. A classic example of this procrastination is Nandini Layout.

BDA notified it in 1979 but never got around to carving a layout. As a result, residents of some 6,950 households in the layout do not have proper khathas and thus cannot raise loans from banks.

At a recent meeting chaired by Bengaluru development minister KJ George and attended by law minister TB Jayachandra, among others, it was decided that a proposal to denotify such ‘illegal’ properties should be placed before the cabinet. If the cabinet decides to do so, a Bill is likely to be introduced in the next legislative assembly session in July.

The BDA has proposed to insert section 38(D) which would allow it to denotify parcels of land that the authority had notified earlier but could not acquire and develop for various reasons.

HN Devraju, general secretary of the Nandini Layout Welfare Association, welcomed the decision and said: “Finally, we can heave a sigh of relief. Once the government finally brings amendment and passes the bill we can enjoy rights over our property.”

The BDA had notified 786 acres and 10 guntas of land for formation of the extended Mahalakshmi Layout by acquiring land from different survey numbers located at Laggere village. But the land was not acquired and the Layout was never formed. It was an utter failure on the part of BDA for which around 10,000 families are suffering, he maintained.

CM Manjunath, a resident of Nandini layout, added: “In 1983, few houses were demolished during Ramakrishna Hegde’s tenure but the drive was stopped. The demolition was termed as national waste by the then BDA commissioner Lakshmi Venkatachala. The process to regularize such houses began during HD Deve Gowda’s tenure as CM during 1994-96. Finally we are seeing a ray of light.”

A law officer who was part of the meeting said: “In respect of private properties, adverse possession can be claimed by having 12 years of continuous possession. But in respect of government land, 30 years of continuous possession permits the owner to claim adverse possession. Since the notification is already over 30 years old and the occupiers have continued to be in possession of the properties, this entitles them for regularization.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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