Will Akrama Sakrama resolve the B-Khata issues?

Bengaluru: Will Akrama Sakrama scheme, for which all decks have been cleared, solve the B-Khata mess? Officials estimate that there are over three lakh B-Khata properties in the city. These are primarily properties that have been developed on non-converted agriculture lands, and owners are desperately hoping for a resolution.

However, rules of the Akrama Sakrama scheme are still open to interpretation. There is confusion over the regularisation of land use violations. The scheme allows for regularisation of land use violations, but the provisions are so vague that implementation hinges on the discretion of BBMP officials.

 “The moot question is whether land use violations in contravention of the Comprehensive Development Plan for the city can be regularised. The rules say that such regularisations ‘as far as may be in accordance with the master plan’, leaving much room for selective interpretations. It will open up a can of worms,” said Mathew Idiculla, Centre for Law and Policy Research, Bengaluru, who also represented multiple petitioners in the High Court over the Scheme.

Sources told media that owners of three kinds of properties will try to take advantage of this scheme: B-Khata, revenue pockets developed in green belt and commercial properties in residential zones.

“It is very clear that land use violations can be regularised despite Comprehensive Development Plan zoning norms. We hope to find a one-time settlement for the B-Khatas in the city. Any property owner with B-Khata can apply for regularisation and it will be done. This will end the distortion in the city’s property market,” said M.K. Gunasekhar, chairman, Taxation and Finance Standing Committee, BBMP.

However, property consultants said that there are practical difficulties in regularising B-Khata properties. Many sites in revenue pockets do not have valid documents. There are even cases of a single site having multiple claimants.

“Regularising revenue sites individually will lead to duplication of khatas and other such misuse. BBMP needs to first draw up a map of these revenue layouts, assign site numbers and then go ahead with regularising all sites in the particular survey number,” says R. Ramesh, a property consultant.

Mr. Gunasekhar added that properties with commercial establishments operating in residential plots can also be regularised under the Akrama Sakrama scheme. This effectively undoes the recent circular by the civic body asking all illegal commercial establishments to close down.

Credits The Hindu

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