Cash-strapped BDA eyes big bucks by auctioning CA sites

Highlights: 
According to Bengaluru's city planning rules, 10% of the sites in every layout are reserved for Civic Amenities (CA).

The cash-strapped government wants to rake in big moolah by selling off the valuable civic amenity (CA) sites of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).

The proposal to sell 1,365 CA sites in Bengaluru is estimated to fetch the state government and the BDA Rs 30,000-35,000 crore.

The BDA made a proposal to Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy — who is also the Bengaluru Development Minister — in July and again in early August. The BDA has proposed to make an offer to all lease-holders to purchase sites from the authority at market price, once and for all. The BDA has also kept a window open to auction sites whose lease term has expired.

The proposal has come at a time when the state government is struggling to mobilise resources to fund many of its budgetary proposals. After the big-ticket loan waiver scheme of Rs 44,000 crore that has drained the exchequer, forcing it to cut down on some of the flagship schemes of the previous Congress government, this is aimed to be a big push.

“We have made the proposal, as recovering lease amount from lease-holders is near to impossible. At present, of a total of 1,365, there are at least 70 lease agreements which need to be renewed and notices have been served since 1995. If we sell or auction these 70 sites alone, it will fetch the BDA at least Rs 1,000 crore. We have been unable to vacate them because most of them are government departments and others have political backing,” said a BDA official, seeking anonymity.

The official said that a survey is going on to find more cases where lease agreements have lapsed. The authority is also surveying to identify unoccupied CA sites which can be recovered immediately.

Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, Urban Development Department, told DH that the implications of the proposal are yet to be examined and details are being discussed.

The BDA allots CA sites as per CA site Rules 1989. According to rules, 10% in every layout is reserved as CA sites. They are allotted based on various criteria including financial stability of the organisation, five-year audit report, number of attempts made and the purpose for acquisition. Exceptions are made and CA sites are allotted on recommendation of the BDA commissioner or the chief minister.

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What are Civic Amenities?

According to the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) ActCivic Amenities (CA) are defined as:

(i) A market, a post office, a telephone exchange, a bank, a fair price shop, a milk booth, a school, a dispensary, a hospital, a pathological laboratory, a maternity home, a child care centre, a library, a gymnasium, a bus stand or a bus depot

(ii) A recreation centre run by the Government or the Corporation

(iii) A centre for educational, social or cultural activities established by the Central Government or the State Government or by a body established by the Central Government or the State Government

(iv) A centre for educational, religious, social or cultural activities or for philanthropic service run by a cooperative society registered under the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act, 1959 or a society registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960 or by a trust created wholly for charitable, educational or religious purposes

(v) A police station, an area office or a service station of the Corporation or the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board or the Karnataka Electricity Board, and

(vi) Such other amenity as the Government may, by notification, specify.

DH Editorial | Curb graft, improve civic amenities

 

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Cash-strapped BDA eyes big bucks by auctioning CA sites

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