Of a dream house on an illegal BDA layout

Of a dream house on  an illegal BDA layout

All that M Pushpa and her husband B R Murthy longed for was a genuine residential plot in the City.

The unsuspecting couple reposed their faith in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), since it is a government organisation entrusted to form residential layouts for every section of society. In 2003, the couple got a site in BDA’s layout at Venkatarayanakere.

Little did they know that over a period of time, the BDA has evolved itself into a real estate mafia, forming illegal layouts including the one on Venkatarayanakere.

All their hopes dashed on Friday when the earthmovers began destroying the side drains. The couple did not go for duty and their children skipped their school fearing that the mammoth machines would bulldoze their ‘happy home’ for no fault of theirs.

With tears in her eyes, Pushpa said she felt lucky on November 18, 2003 when the site was allotted to her. “It was a double fortune for me. The same day when we got the site allotted in our name, I gave birth to my daughter. At the time of allotment, we didn’t have money to construct a house. We took six years to save money and finally, in 2009, we began the construction. When we fell short of money, I sold my ornaments.”

For seven months, the family tirelessly worked to see the house built and on June 5, 2010, the house warming ceremony was performed.

However, the couple wondered the absence of basic amenities like electricity, underground drains, park, playground area and civic amenity site in the BDA developed layout. On top of it, the layout tucked between hillocks on all sides was full of snakes and whenever it rained, the whole layout would submerge. The floating snakes would enter houses and sometimes climb on the cars and two-wheelers.

“We wondered how so much of rainwater would accumulate here, until Deccan Herald published the report about our layout mentioning that it was, in fact, a tank.”

Had to pay bribe

Murthy said he had to pay a bribe of Rs 40,000 like many others in the layout to get electricity connection. The money was demanded to buy poles and electricity wires. The BDA as well as the BWSSB shied away from laying sanitary pipeline. The residents have dug septic tank as practised in illegal layouts on revenue land.

On Friday, when they saw the BDA officials coming with the earthmovers, they had only one question – Why were they cheated by none other than the government itself. And the BDA officials had no reply to offer.

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