MUDA: Leaving dreams unfulfilled

For a dream house: As thousands of site aspirants wait for a site from MUDA, the sites at Dattagalli layout, developed by MUDA, had few takers only few years ago. Now, it is one among the fastest growing layouts in Mysore. Dh Photo by Prashanth H G

Owning a site is a wish of most people. But it is still a dream for thousands of Mysoreans. The Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) which distributes sites has not allotted even a single site since 2005. It looks strange, but it is a reality.

According to statistics available with MUDA, as many as 1.43 lakh applications seeking allotment of sites are pending. The list is growing everyday with people across the State wishing to own a site in the heritage city. With the government removing the clause that only bonafide residents are eligible to apply for the sites, people from all over the State are applying for a plot here.

Not too long ago, people were getting sites without any hassles. There was no waiting list or influence from bureaucrats or netas to get sites allotted. The demand for sites increased only after the real estate shot up following the entry of multi-national companies and IT/BT companies setting up their units in the city. Since then the rates of sites and houses have gone up beyond anybody’s imagination.

A site measuring 20 ft X 30 ft in the new layout was once available at around ` 3 lakh to ` 4 lakh. And now the site of this measurement is not less than ` 18 to ` 20 lakh. The people belonging to middle class and lower middle class, who nursed a dream of building a house, are facing hardship.

In the present situation, sites are purchased by only those who are rich and can afford to buy even in open auctions. Now, a lot of private developers have got into the business of forming layouts and selling sites and houses. The people, who were once making a beeline before the MUDA, are now approaching the private developers.

The things have reached such a state that the real site-less people have to shelve their idea of buying a site and constructing a house. Unfortunately, the MUDA, which is supposed to protect the interest of common people, seems to be shirking from its responsibility and giving lame excuses of non-availability of open land for delay in forming new layouts.

The large tracts of land in  and around the city are now in the possession of private developers who quote exorbitant prices for it. On the other hand, people who own sites in other cities were successful in getting one in the city too, without having to build a house here.

According to an estimate, thousands of vacant sites are there in almost all parts of the city. The owners of such sites are waiting for the real estate boom to reach its crescendo so that they could make good money out of it. Although, there is a provision in the rules to reclaim such sites in cases houses are not built within two years from the date of allotment, the MUDA is not ready to initiate such strong measures.

The officials claim that they do not have the recent addresses of those allotees to serve notices. Besides, according to them, it is a lengthy legal process for which it is not ready for.

The MUDA (formerly City Improvement Trust Board) was started by Mysore Wadiyars in 1904 for the systematic growth of the city. Other functions of the authority include formation of sites and distribute them among poor and middle class people.

 The MUDA won the accolades of many for being prompt in the distribution of sites to the needy people without any delay. Thousands of sites were distributed during the tenure of D Madegowda for all classes of the society.

However, the authority seems to have lost its purpose post 2000 when the private developers mushroomed, thanks to the boom in real estate.

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