BDA violated top court order to denotify 46 sites in Arkavathi

Claims original landowners dropped out of land acquisition

BDA violated top court order to denotify 46 sites in Arkavathi

At least 46 sites formed by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) in Arkavathi Layout have been denotified and demolished. The sites were located in survey numbers 2/1 and 2/2 of Sampigehalli village in Yelahanka taluk. 

In mid-August this year, the BDA demolished the entire layout on the grounds that the original landowners had opted for dropping out of the acquisition. But in reality, the demolition of these sites appears to be in violation of the very Supreme Court order that forms the premise for the BDA to denotify land in Arkavathi Layout. 

On May 31 2012, the BDA denotified six acres and two guntas in the two survey numbers in question. In its file notings—a copy of which is with Deccan Herald—the then BDA land acquisition officer Boregowda had noted that the land was “fit to be denotified” in lieu of the SC order dated May 5, 2010. The apex court had laid down six parameters for the BDA to denotify the land acquired for forming the layout. 

The file notings mention that the BDA denotified the land based on the sixth parameter which gives relief to landowners to get their land denotified by stating that the land around their survey number has been left out of the final notification for forming the layout. 

The SC order cited above clearly states that the sixth parameter can be exercised to denotify land “if their lands are similar to the lands which are adjoining their lands but not notified for acquisition at all...” 

But in the Sampigehalli case, the BDA had already acquired the land around Survey numbers 2/1 and 2/2 for formation of Arkavathi Layout, thus defeating the purpose of the court’s relaxation to denotify any land. 

The BDA, in its file notings, said that following its inspection of the land under Survey number 2/2, it was identified that the adjoining Survey numbers of 2/1, parts of Survey numbers 3 and 1/9 and another portion of land was “denotified”, and hence it was clear to denotify the survey number. 

In the order issued for Survey number 2/1, the BDA mentioned its own order of denotification of Survey number 2/2 for dropping an acre and 30 guntas under Survey number 2/1. 

The BDA issued the final order, directing the K R Puram and Yelahanka tahsildars, on June 21 2014, almost two years after it denotified the land. 

In the order on Survey number 2/1, the BDA has stated: “In lieu of the Supreme Court and High Court orders, we are hereby denotifying the land under the six parameters laid out for denotification. Accordingly, Yelahanka and K R Puram tahsildars have been directed to take action in this regard...”

But ground-level officials insist the specific reasons for denotification were never conveyed to them. According to a BDA official, who is directly involved in the denotifying process of land in Arkavathi Layout, none of the six parameters were mentioned in the denotification of the said land. 

With at least four builders constructing large-scale apartment complexes next to the said land, BDA officials fear the denotified land may be used by a private builder to develop a private layout or apartment complex. 

BDA Commissioner T Sham Bhatt, however, insisted that the denotification was done as per the SC order. “When considered as a whole, large tracts of land in Arkavathi Layout have been denotified according to the sixth parameter of the SC judgment,” he said. 

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