Rules given a go by in Suryanagar Layout

Irregularities have come to light in allotment of sites by the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) at its Suryanagar Layout, off Electronics City, in Bangalore. The KHB has developed 20,000 sites and constructed 2,000 houses in three phases at Suryanagar and, work on the fourth phase is under progress.

The KHB has distributed 600 sites without publishing a public notification in the media, which is said to be in violation of the provisions of the Karnataka Housing Board Act, 1962.

According to the rules, where the number of applications under each category exceeds the number of houses reserved for them, the allotment should be made by draw of lots in public by the housing commissioner or any officer authorised by him.

Notice specifying the date, time and venue of the draw of lots should be published in the local newspapers at least seven days ahead.

But in regard to allotment of 600 sites to applicants in 2011, no such advance notification was issued and also draw of lots was not held.

Despite objections from some officials, the KHB’s Board meeting had authorised its commissioner to allot the sites on his own.

It is alleged that, subsequently, certain KHB officials, engineers and even some politicians brought pressure on the commissioner and got sites allotted to people of their choice. J Ravishankar, who recently took over as the KHB commissioner, has now written to the government asking it to scrap the site allotment powers that were given to the commissioner by the Board earlier.

Besides, in many cases the KHB has allotted one site to two individuals. For instance, official documents indicate that a 30x50 sqft site (number 1970) has been alloted K V Supriya and N Ramesh. Similarly, the site number 1971 has been allotted to Jayanthi and Nataraj; site number 1972 to Rajashekaraiah and Nagaraj; site number 1932 to Deepti Namoshi and Dr A R Vinod Kumar; site number 1920 to Biligamma and Dr K S Narasimha Murthy. Officials say that the same site was alloted two applicants in many cases as there was pressure from several minsters in this regard.

Prices hiked manifold

On the other hand, it is said that KHB has hiked the site prices manifold allegedly due to pressure from private builders.

The site price announced by the KHB at the time of collecting initial deposits from the applicants for Suryanagar 3rd phase was Rs 500 per square feet.

But, the KHB almost doubled the price and now applicants have to shell out Rs 900 per sqft at the time of  paying the remaining amount.

When S N Krishnaiah Setty was the housing minister in the previous BJP government, the KHB had fixed site prices at Rs 500, Rs 550 and Rs 600 per sqft for LIG, MIG and HIG sites.
As these prices were relatively low, the demand for sites at several private layouts in the area came down. According to official sources, land developers reportedly brought pressure on KHB officials to hike the site prices at its Suryanagar Layout and they were successful in it.

Presently, the site prices at Suryanagar Layout is Rs 900 per sqft while in the adjoining private layouts it is between Rs 1,000 and Rs 1,200 per sqft.

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