Sakrama to be an issue

The BJP has already begun speaking about the merits of the scheme and how the implementation would have benefited lakhs of property owners. The Congress is determined to campaign on the demerits of the scheme.

Former mayor Ramachandrappa said the features of the scheme have not been discussed either in the Assembly or in public forums.

What the Congress has learnt is that building bye-law violations up to 25 pc for commercial structures and up to 50 pc for residential structures will be regularised.

The penalty for regularising construction on 30x40 ft site would be not less than Rs 90,000. “But the point one can’t understand is why the government is trying to put a cap,” he said.

Congress and Janata Dal, which formed the BBMP council in 1997, had introduced Sulabh Khata scheme to regularise constructions in the newly included wards of the then BMP. The Palike did not announce that unauthorised properties would be regularised. But when 30 to 40 wards were brought under the purview of the Palike, betterment charge at the rate of Rs 11 per sq ft was imposed. A 30x40 ft site owner must have paid just Rs 13,000, Ramachandrappa recalled.

“Why not the government regularise the properties without imposing penalty? We are going to explain our view point to the voters. Sakrama in the present form is not a scientific way of handling the problem,” he argued.

Cong manifesto

The Congress will begin its campaign from February 1. The party will focus on vanishing green cover of Bangalore, stoppage of work on the Cauvery 4th stage II phase amongst other issues.

Guv defends action on ordinance

Governor H R Bhardwaj on Friday defended his action on not according assent to the ordinance on the Sakrama scheme.

“Do you expect me to bypass the Legislature and Judiciary and do something which I don’t know at all? I have told the government to debate about it after the elections (BBMP) and come back,” he said replying to questions by reporters at a function here on Friday.

However, minister Ashok who headed a Cabinet sub-committee on the scheme said that the government was unaware of the reason for the governor returning the ordinance. The government was well within its rights to bring the scheme through an ordinance, he claimed.

Ashok felt that the refusal was a blow to the aspirations of the poor who wanted to get their properties regularised.

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