Denotification that has left residents without homes

Denotification that has left residents without homes

For 17 years, Jnana Bharathi Layout has been their home. But a dramatic, sudden destruction of a 150-metre stretch of road on Monday woke up the eight families to a new reality: The land on which they had built their houses, was denotified by the BDA on October 6, 2010, and they didn’t even get a notice!

The land, admeasuring two acres and 22 guntas, is part of a developed layout in Kengeri Satellite Town.  Monday’s destruction was swift and clinical. Armed with the denotification order, Munikrishnappa, the grandson of the land’s original owner, Bagalur Munishamappa, reclaimed the stretch which connects the Jnana Bharathi Layout with the rest of the City. Also reclaimed was a part of the denotified land – survey numbers 59/4 to 59/11.

The forcible reclamation, which began around 1 pm on August 8, was accomplished in an hour. Munikrishnappa allegedly said he was there to reclaim his property. When residents questioned his intent in destroying the road, he allegedly told them that the land was his and that it was denotified by the BDA. This led to speculations that powerful vested interests were operating behind the entire process.

BDA sources said the denotification powers could only be exercised with the assent of the chief minister. Besides, it was the first time in 23 years that a stretch of land was denotified in a developed layout after nearly 17 years of its formation. It is estimated that the land value of the two acres and 22 guntas is nearly Rs 30 crore. The total extent of the denotified land includes a few vacant sites, seven houses and the 150 metres of the main road.

“Most residents are above 50 years of age and are apprehensive of getting into any controversy. But the demolition of the road has left us with no choice but to go to the streets,” said Vinayak, a resident. The BBMP may file a criminal case against Munikrishnappa for destruction of public property.

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