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'B' khatha or whatever, let's have something

Last updated: 09 July, 2011
Nagashree Gururaj and Ramzauva Chhakchhuak.

For thousands of Bangaloreans residing in the new BBMP areas, a legitimate document that proves they own their property is a matter of utmost importance.

Interactions by Deccan Herald with a cross section of people from these areas brought this out forcefully. 

Srinivasan has a property near Hosur Road which was a gift from his father. “I am nearly 40 years now and waiting for the government on its stand on khatas. How many more years should one wait?” he wonders. 
The area, where his property is located, was originally under the jurisdiction of the grama panchayat, before it came under the jurisdiction of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits. But after four years, Srinivasan still has the documents of the panchayat days. 
He has heard about the ‘B’ khatha, but does not want to apply for it because of its ambiguous nature. “It would be better that I directly get the A-khata and be sure and secure about my property” he says. 
There is a great deal of confusion on the Khata itself, because the “B” Khata is actually an entry in a property identification register. The “Khata” is also a misnomer, as stated by the BBMP Commissioner, Siddaiah himself. No wonder, the property owners are a worried and anxious lot. 

Compounding the confusion has been the eagerness of many BBMP personnel and middlemen to cash in on the “B-Khata” craze. There are several cases of bribery by people wanting to get properties registered through these khatas. Many have fallen into this trap. The cost of a document as proof of an entry in the B-Register (which is actually not a khata) has been fixed as Rs 110, but there are many residents who have paid much more. 
Take for instance Lakshmanappa, a 65-year-old who owns a property in Kengeri. He had to go through a plethora of hardships to finally get that promised document, which he still thinks is an alternative for a khatha. “I had to shell out Rs 12,000 at the BBMP office and then again Rs 4,000  at the Sub-Registrar’s office. Even after paying so much, my registration was done only after four months,” he recalls. 
Lakshmanappa knows that his ‘B-khata’ does not entitle him to his property and that it is just an acknowledgement for the property tax he/she has paid to the BBMP. “Well, something is better than having nothing”, he says.
Although the BBMP officials wouldn’t admit it, the bribery is an open secret. Salim (name changed) who stays near the Old HAL Airport, having heard about the “‘B’ khatha,” wanted one for his property and tried to get a middleman to do the job. “The agent said he could do it for me for Rs 2000. He also openly admitted that most of the money was for BBMP officials,” says Salim.
In another part of the city, Bommanahalli, also a new BBMP area, a resident, Kamal owns a three-storey building. He claims that his property is registered under the City Municipal Council. But he apparently was not even aware that since the inception of the BBMP, the CMC registrations wouldn’t hold much water unless he did the necessary documentations. 
“Most of them are clueless about B-register which is generally perceived as the B-khatha,” notes Mahesh Babu, an advocate. The BBMP offices, he says, take advantage of the ignorance of people to engage in mismanagement.  “People don’t even know that they cannot avail loans from nationalised banks with this so called B-khatha nor do they know that this doesn’t certify them as legal owners of their property.”
Most people want valid documents not just to feel secure about their property but also to convince banks to sanction housing loans. Many nationalised banks now insist on the “A-khatha” issued by BBMP. “I want to desperately get a loan but want to get one only from a nationalised bank.  A genuine document would benefit not only me but also a government bank” says Srinivasan.
A-Khata, B-register or ‘B’ khatha, almost everyone prefers the BBMP to hold an interactive forum for people to clarify all their doubts. As Srinivasan puts it. “That is the least the government can do at the moment.”
Siddaiah, Commissioner, BBMP.

There is nothing called a ‘B’ khatha in the KMC Act 1976. There is only one khatha. What has come to be known as ‘B’ khatha is the ‘B’ Register


Raju , property owner and realtor 

I paid Rs 4,000 and applied for the registration of my property a long time ago. However I got my ‘B’ khatha only 15 days ago

Sudheesh, property owner, Shastri Nagar

Although I have paid the necessary charges and got my khatha registered, there are a lot of property owners in the new BBMP areas who are confused about the issue. The BBMP could hold interactive meetings for better clarity

Khatha for dummies

* A Khatha is an identification paper issued by the local civic body to recognise the ownership of a property and that makes the owner eligible to receive the civic amenities extended to him or her. 
* Each City or Town municipal council and corporation issues a Khatha identifying the property owner, after verifying the title deed, the sale deed and other documents apart from measuring the extent of the site.
* Over the years, indiscriminate issual of Khathas were recorded in the City Municipal Councils and Town Municipal Councils without verifying the documents for the land.
* In 2007, those under the seven City Municipal Councils (CMC) of Bommanahalli, Dasarahalli, Krishnarajapuram, Raja Rajeshwari Nagar, Mahadevapura, Byatarayanapura, Yelahanka, one Town Municipal Council (TMC) of Kengeri and 110 villages, were brought under the fold of the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP).  
* Following this expansion and creation of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), those who did not have appropriate approval from the concerned land development authority and yet to come under the ambit of the Palike were issued an acknowledgment which was in common parlance known as ‘B’ Khatha. 
* However, in reality, ‘B’ Khatha does not exist. Property identification numbers are entered into a register called as  ‘B’ register stating that the civic agency has been paid its dues by the property owners.  
* For citizens in need of an approval from the appropriate land development authority but have a Deputy Commissioner (DC) conversion, the BBMP re-introduced Betterment Charges which will entail people to take a Khatha on their property. 
* Recently, the Legislative Assembly approved the extension of the DC conversion for another year.  
* However, owners of properties with building bye-law violations will have to wait for Akrama-Sakrama.  

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