Illegal denotification of govt land costs BDA Rs.400 crores

A right to information (RTI) application has revealed that 38 acres of government land in Arkavathy Layout, worth at least Rs 400 crore, has been illegally denotified and handed over to private parties by the Bangalore Development Authorities (BDA) officials. The series of handovers began after one person managed to denotify 2,500 sq ft within this area, and others followed suit until the whole of 38 acres were guzzled.

Now, after the RTI revelation, a complaint has been lodged to get back this government property located near Thanisandra, KR Puram.

The areas come under survey numbers 92, 93 and 114 (old survey number-92/4) and are part of a complaint lodged by the Arkavathy Anti-De-Notification Action Committee. J Ashok Kumar, who heads the forum, is fighting against the scam, and has taken up the issue with the administration, lodging a complaint with the Bengaluru East Tahsildar.

The tussle over the 38 acres started almost 20 years ago. After an initial investigation by the BDA, it was declared that the property belonged to the government, and the owner was the Bengaluru East Tahsildar.

Over the years, several people had built upon these acres and had started claiming its plots. When the government declared that this was its land, a few individuals approached the High Court in 2005-06, staking their claim. The court had then ruled that anyone who had bought the site (within the disputed 38 acres) before the government’s gazette notification issued in 2001-02, would be allowed an alternative site by the BDA.

However, in April 2006, misusing and twisting this order, one M Ranga Rao from Byarasandra allegedly got his 2,400 sq ft plot denotified by the BDA, illegally.

“The High Court in its order had clearly stated that only those who had bought their site or house before the gazette notification in 2001-02 would be given their property back, and that too after taking a certain fee. But after Ranga Rao managed to get his site denotified by paying a bribe, the BDA completely denotified the whole of 38 acres. This was clearly done by BDA officials working in cahoots with land sharks. The BDA has incurred a loss of Rs 400 crore because of its own people,” said Ashok Kumar, chairman of the Arkavathy Anti-De-Notification Action Committee. “After collecting all the documents, I gave a complaint to the administration concerned, but no one seems to care,” he said.

According to Ashok, the land sharks used the General Power of Attorney (GPA) to take away the land. A committee formed to give the report on this particular land after High Court gave its verdict, said there were many buildings on this property already. It was clear that the committee too colluded with the land sharks and vanished after taking a lot of money, alleged Ashok.

“An enquiry should happen on this and the land has to be taken back immediately. Otherwise, if people want to keep their houses, they should pay up as per the current market value,” he said.

Both the BDA and Revenue Department, to whom the case was referred after the complaint, didn’t want to come on record. But they said they would take up the issue with the department secretary, deputy commissioner and with the BDA commissioner.

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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