Land audit shows cash-strapped BDA sitting on gold mine

Land audit shows cash-strapped BDA sitting on gold mine

Picture for representation only.

The land audit exercise initiated by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has shown that the authority is sitting on land worth crores of rupees.

According to initial reports, the BDA is found to have huge chunks of the land in its custody in the city, whose sale would not only earn the cash-starved body huge earnings but also benefit the state government for its various political schemes.

The BDA has 2,000 corner sites in the ‘jinxed’ Arkavathy Layout in its possession, which can be sold any time for a good price. The BDA has also identified 7,000 sites, ready to be auctioned across the city. The BDA is also found to have six acres on Bannerghatta Road and many civic amenity sites in Whitefield estimated to be worth Rs 19 crore, which can be utilised immediately.

“The land audit exercise was started a year-and-a-half ago. The exercise was initiated to ascertain the extent of land available with the BDA in the city to be utilised or disposed of immediately. We did not expect to have this extent of land in our possession in such prime locations. Apart from this, there are many cases pending in the court, which are also nearing conclusion. Once resolved, BDA will have more land in hand to be utilised,” said a senior BDA official seeking anonymity.

According to officials, these sites are of varied dimensions, where improvement in terms of infrastructure is required. “In the case of Bannerghatta Road, we have started work on preparing the site plan to carve out sites. Here alone, around 24 sites of varied dimensions can be made and sold. The same is the case with Arkavathy Layout. Once infrastructure work is completed, then with sites of other allottees, these sites can also be utilised or even sold,” the official said.

The official added: “We are now working on identifying land parcels in west Bengaluru, where development is less and demand for housing is on the rise. These areas can be used for TDR or alternative land schemes. There are also many sites available to be utilised in the rapidly developing east Bengaluru.”

The BDA is in need of money to fund many of its projects. The land audit was part of the exercise to know how much land is in BDA’s possession and how much is encroached.