Residents up in arms over 'illegal' building on BDA land

A five-storey commercial complex constructed “illegally” on a BDA-owned site on Koramangala 80 Feet Road has got the local residents fuming. The aggrieved people now plan to file a complaint against the builder.

The residents allege that the builder, R Krishnappa, and his sons connived with BDA engineers to construct the complex. The builder “fabricated” BDA property documents for the purpose, they claim.

Suspicion about the legality of the building first emerged when a few distrustful residents filed an RTI application for documents pertaining to the land in question. They doubted Krishnappa’s integrity as his sons are said to be involved in criminal activities.

Then in September 2012, their suspicions were confirmed by the RTI reply, they claimed. As per the documents, Krishnappa and his sons had acquired the BDA site measuring 17.5 guntas (approximately 4,000 sq ft) in Koramangala village, Survey No 83/2B.

The residents did appeal to the BDA against the “illegal” acquisition and sought action against Krishnappa and his sons.

According to the residents, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had even issued a public notice on March 5, 1998, saying the complex was built without its permission or that of the BDA. The notice further advised the tenants against occupying the space.

“We strongly suspect the builder connived with the BDA engineers to get the approval. The BDA has promised us action against the wrongdoers. If it fails to act in the next few days, we’ll approach the High Court,” a resident, who wished anonymity, said.
The land in dispute originally belonged to Krishnappa’s father, the late Ramaiah.

Ramaiah had surrendered the land to BDA and received the acquisition letter signed by BDA’s Special Additional Land Acquisition Officer, dated July 25, 1979. He received adequate compensation on July 14, 1979, which, it is said, was shared by Krishnappa and his siblings — Narayanappa, Govindareddy, Nanjappa and Hanumareddy.

“Even though the land was a BDA property, Krishnappa created fake documents stating that the property belongs to him and his three sons — K Ravi, K Sreenivas and K Prakash. He claimed the documents were approved by the erstwhile Koramangala Gram Panchayat. Ravi now owns the property and manages the complex. We estimate the entire property to be worth Rs 20 crore,” said another resident.

‘False accusations’

Krishnappa was unavailable for comment but Ravi claimed that the BDA acquired “only a portion of our land”. “We used the unacquired part for the complex. We haven’t violated any BDA rules and have submitted all necessary documents before construction. We are not paying any money to BDA as of now,” he said.

The officials concerned in the BDA and the BBMP appeared to be passing the buck. A BDA official in the land acquisition section said that the BBMP was in charge of illegal buildings.

On his part, the BBMP Engineer-in-Chief, Ranga Raju, said he would direct the ward engineers concerned to inspect the building and issue a notice, once he obtained documents of the building.

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