Arkavathi mirage

Arkavathi mirage

For over a decade now, the BDA-initiated Arkavathi Layout has been a mirage for residential site hopefuls in Bangalore city. Probably less than 1,000 acres of the originally planned 4,000 acres of land are now left with the BDA for the jinxed layout. It is doubtful if the around 4,000 eligible applicants would ever get a piece of land in Arkavathi Layout, because the layout itself may never materialise.

The latest denotification by the Siddaramaiah government last month of portions of the land measuring over 500 acres from the originally designated land for the layout is a proverbial land nail in what has become the Arkavathi coffin. With the government also announcing a judicial probe into this denotification move in the wake of questions raised about it, there is little chance for site allottees to get their piece of land for house building.

It is ironical that the government should be compelled to order a judicial probe into one of its own decisions made just weeks ago. But it should not come as any surprise. The reason being that there has been an absolute lack of transparency in the manner in which the BDA and the state government went about the affairs of this layout from the very outset.

Not that there is transparency elsewhere in the way the government functions these days. As a result, both the land losers and site allottees have knocked at the doors of the courts seeking answers to their grievances.

While the public will wait, hoping to get answers from the judicial probe, there is no knowing right now when that will happen. But what we know by now is that the BDA has completely abdicated its responsibilities in discharging its responsibilities as the designated authority to ensure a planned development of the state capital. Political interferences by successive state governments have hastened BDA’s emasculation.

The government of the day does not see any reason why it should expand and strengthen the civic agency’s ability to effectively intervene for the city’s planned growth and expansion. The agency is not really known for taking any measures for the planned development of the metropolis.

What we witness is an opaque agency in which controversies and scams tumble out one after another as a breed of subservient bureaucrats willy-nilly join hands with their corrupt political masters and politically patronised land sharks to form syndicate of land mafia. We cannot expect a judicial probe to smash this syndicate, which is destroying our cities.

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