BDA officials granted notified land to builder: Plaint

Picture for representation

A complaint has been filed with the Urban Development Department against Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) officials for offering 1.29 acres of notified land to Prestige Estate Pvt Ltd, a private real estate company, under a group housing scheme. 

The land, at survey number 80, Tavarekere village in Koramangala, now houses a huge apartment 'Prestige St John Wood', with 12% of the built-up area relinquished with the BDA as per the housing scheme. The apartments with the BDA share are being allotted to various all-India service officials posted in the city. IAS officer D K Ravi had committed suicide in one such apartment allotted to him as Additional Commissioner Commercial Taxes (Enforcement). 

The complaint, filed by one Gautam Rao, stated that while the power to withdraw or drop any land from acquisition vested only with the state government, the BDA illegally sanctioned a development plan.

According to the complaint, there is total extent of 28.18 acres in survey number 80. Of this, 11.37 acres was granted to the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) Society, a charitable institution. In 1978, the government issued final notification for the entire 28.18 acres for forming BTM Layout.

The society challenged the notification in the court. While the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, the society executed a general power of attorney (GPA) with Prestige.

Based on the application filed by Prestige, seeking a group housing scheme on 10 acres, the state government dropped the land from acquisition in 1999 through a gazette notification. The BDA sanctioned the development plan in favour of Prestige in June 2002.

In October 2003, Prestige moved another application, seeking a modified plan requesting an additional 1.29 acres along with the 1999 order of group housing. To this, the deputy commissioner BDA made a note, stating: "The land (1.29 acres) is still under notification, the award not passed, possession not taken and it is not denotified."

The complainant stated that despite this, the BDA sanctioned a modified plan, including 1.29 acres of notified land without denotification.

"Once a notification is issued for public purpose, the only power to denotify the land is available with the state government, if not required for public purpose. Though possession not taken, 1.29 acres was very much under notification and the BDA could not have given it in favour of a real estate firm. I have filed the complaint with the Urban Development Department. If no action is taken, I will either move the Anti-Corruption Bureau or the court," Gautam said. 

DH reached out to Prestige for comment, but received no response.   

Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, Mahendra Jain said the matter will be looked into. "I have asked the BDA commissioner to have the matter examined and submit a report to the government. Appropriate action will be taken if any irregularity is found," he said.

What is group housing scheme?

  • In 1995, the state government approved the group housing scheme on lands notified, but for which acquisition proceedings were not completed. According to the scheme, the owner is permitted to develop the land for group housing on his own or with the assistance of a developer. In case of sites, 30% would get relinquished and in case of apartments, 12% of the built-up area will be relinquished with the BDA.
  • One of the conditions of the scheme was that the BDA's share in case of sites will have to be earmarked for the EWS (economically weaker section) and LIG (low income group); and flats should be for LIG, middle income and high income groups.

 

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BDA officials granted notified land to builder: Plaint

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