Post SC order, uncertainty looms large over residents

Site owners to file review petition seeking more clarity

A 25-year-long case came to an end on February 2 when the Supreme Court directed the State government to return the vacant land to its legitimate owners after finding faults in the land acquisition process to form the Bangalore City Co-operative Housing Society (BCCHS) Layout.

Way back in 1987, BCCHS had taken the initiative to form the layout and decided to have 1,791 plots out of 201 acres of land.

However, a few people who were not happy with the land acquisition took the legal route to get back possession of their property. They were Geetha Devi Shah and the predecessor of P Ramaiah, Munikrishna, Keshava Murthy, Nagaveni and Chikkathayamma.

Shah complained that she was not given an opportunity to present her case before the land acquisition officers and the revenue officers. However, the order has come as a rude shock to the residents of BCCHS Layout at Vajarahalli on Kanakapura Road. They say they are now in a soup as they have invested huge sums on constructing houses.

A woman living in the area, requesting anonymity, said her family took a huge loan from a bank. “We had just heaved a sigh of relief by clearing the bank loan and we were thinking of celebrating it in a big way, when we got to know about the order.”

There is a feeling  that the SC order has been wrongly interpreted.

Anand K, a local resident, said the order seems like it is restricted to the properties related to the petitioners who own a mere 11.5 acres and not the 201-odd acres.

“I went through the order several times and the impression I got is that it is not about the entire layout. We are trying to find a way out,” said Anand.

In the wake of the SC order, the BCCHS Residents’ Welfare Association had a meeting recently, in which nearly 350 members participated. The office-bearers of the BCCHS Limited, which developed the Layout, too participated in the meeting. It was decided that a review petition be filed in the SC for more clarity.

Tension at Vajarahalli

The dispute between the successors of the land owners and the site owners sometimes results in properties being damaged. After the SC order came, it has become impossible for the building owners to stay there as some people have started pestering them to vacate the area.

“The successors of those who parted with their land to form the layout are making our lives miserable. They are sending us warnings to vacate the land,” said a resident.
In January, miscreants damaged the borewell due to which the water supply in the area got severely affected.

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