Palike fails to learn from Ejipura episode

BBMP keen on tying up with pvt firms to build quarters for poor

The BBMP does not seem to have learnt a lesson from its agreement with Maverick Holding for the construction of quarters for the economically weaker sections (EWS quarters). 

The Palike lost eight acres of its land, following the infamous pact. On Tuesday, at an interaction programme, Palike commissioner Shankarlinge Gowda gave an open invitation to developers to partner with the civic body in the construction of another EWS quarters.

The event saw overwhelming participation from members of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI), who showed interest in joining hands with the Palike for the project. 

Jayashankar, CREDAI office bearer and representative of Adarsh Developers, said CREDAI members would be more than willing to partner with BBMP for providing housing to the lower sections of the society.   

Jayashankar’s views found an echo among other developers, who showed interest in the re-development of slums. While sceptics believe that the private developers may find this an easy way to rake in the moolah, Gowda sees an opportunity to provide quality housing for the poor at affordable costs.

However, Gowda did admit that no developer would invest in projects without a provision for profit. He said the Palike would lose land where slums have mushroomed anyways and it would be wiser to provide housing for the poor through the public private partnership model. 

But the commissioner later acceded that the BBMP parting with prime property may not be the ‘only’ route for the PPP model and that he was open to other possibilities. 

“We will work together and arrive at a feasible model for EWS quarters,” he said. Earlier in the day, CREDAI members brought to the commissioner’s notice the delays in issuing building plan approvals, khatas and issues related to improvement/betterment charges.

Gowda said BBMP was trying to address the problems.

Civic body to cut red-tapism

“We are trying to cut down the number of engineers in the Town Planning divisions in each of the eight BBMP zones. Earlier, engineers would get themselves posted in the Town Planning divisions with recommendations from the government. These engineers would deliberately delay the process of issuing building plan approvals for reasons best known to all,” he said. 

The Palike will bring down the number of engineers from four to two in the Town Planning division of each zone.

On the red tapism in issuing khatas, he said once the Urban Property Ownership Records (UPOR) mechanism is in place, khatas will be linked with it and the changes will be effected automatically in them. The issue of khatas will then be streamlined. 

Charges to be revised

To help owners of apartments built on DC converted revenue lands, Gowda said, betterment charges would be levied in a new form. 

The proposal will go before the Palike Council for approval. The revision follows a High Court direction to the BBMP to levy ‘reasonable’ betterment rates.    

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