What is TDR?

Bengaluru city. DH file photo

What is TDR?

A method to reduce government expenditure on land acquisition for public projects. A person losing land will be given development rights that are transferable (TDR) in lieu of monetary compensation for the piece of land relinquished. A TDR certificate relaxes several zoning rules like restrictions on the floor area ratio and the setback area. It can be utilised to add space in the existing plot or sold ("transferred") for monetary gain. The TDR was also hoped to be an effective tool to encourage vertical growth. 

What are the limitations of TDR?

There are several problems associated with the TDR, starting from a lack of clarity on the land use data and zoning regulations. People who use a major part of the land and can't use the TDR on their own plot have been struggling to find buyers for the certificate. Under such circumstances, the TDR has not benefited anyone barring some realtors. Most of these issues were flagged by the Karnataka Evaluation Authority in 2015.

Where is the scam?

The lack of clarity on the TDR and the absence of a transparent system for land valuation have allowed officials, especially engineers and surveyors, to jack up the value of land belonging to those who grease their palms. In 2014, the Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force scrutinised 46 TDR files and found a scam worth thousands of crores. As many as 19 officials were charged with forgery, cheating and tampering with the records. In the latest incident, the Anti Corruption Bureau has registered cases against six people.

What's the way out?

The government, the BBMP and other civic agencies have much to do to ensure the TDR benefits those who lose precious land, starting from increasing awareness about the entire plan. Making the entire process of a road or other development plans, land acquisition and land valuation transparent will block ways for irregularities. 

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