BMTF arrests BDA staffer

 The Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) on Friday arrested Thirukan Gouda, a town planning member of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), in connection with widening of Hulimavu-Begur Road to legalise the construction put up by the DLF Southern Homes beyond the permissible level.

The task force has also launched a manhunt for S S Toppige, additional director, Town Planning in the BDA.

The BMTF sleuths raided the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) office near Hotel Windsor Manor Friday night to examine certain documents relating to the permission given to widen the Hulimavu-Begur Road.

According to the BMTF sources, on Friday Pradeep Singh Kharola, the principal secretary to the chief minister, and Thirukan Gouda deposed before the investigating officer.

Kharola was summoned because the widening of road got momentum when he was the BDA commissioner. Kharola told the BMTF officer that he had not signed on the original documents pertaining to the widening of Hulimavu-Begur Road, but only approved the draft proposal.

Later, Thirukan Gouda too appeared before the investigating officer in the afternoon. When he failed to give a satisfactory reply to the queries, he was arrested. The BMTF sources said Thirukan Gouda allegedly showed 10.5 metres of the road as 24 metres only to increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of the DLF Homes.

The DLF Homes was initially given permission to construct a three-storey building, but the developer constructed 18 floors. To legalise the FAR, exercises began to widen the road from 10.5 metres to 24 metres. The road-widening work is underway, said the BMTF sources.

“The plan is illegal. There is no road commensurate with the plan,” said a BMTF source. The raids in the BDA office were carried out to verify the statements given by the accused.

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