Dollars Colony residents nervous

Dollars Colony residents nervous

Dollars Colony residents nervous

Residents of Dollars Colony (JP Nagar), an upmarket layout with neatly laid-out roads, wide spaces and big residences, are deeply anxious about possible demolitions in their area. When will the notice come and what will it state? How should they respond to it? What will happen to houses built on hard-earned savings and work of over 20, 30 years? These are the issues worrying the residents in the light of demolitions taken up by the Banglore Urban district authorities in other areas.

A prominent resident, Siddaiah, former Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) commissioner, is pushing hard with others to prove that they have done nothing illegal.

“We are not encroachers, squatters or criminals. We have purchased sites as per BDA regulations and the BDA knows it. The BDA should come out with a detailed report and submit it to the State government and to the revenue department, to prove that the BDA itself had formed the layout,” Siddaiah told Deccan Herald.

His question: “BDA itself has a revenue officer and land acquisition officer. How can they not know that the layout was built by the BDA on a disused, dried-up lake bed?” He says if the Authority knew, it only means the revenue and land acquisition departments know too. “When we bought the sites, we had not dreamt it would be on a lakebed, simply because we didn’t know there was a lake. The BDA showed us a layout plan and as per that plan, people bought sites. What is wrong with that?”

He says if the layout was on a dried-up lake, why were the site allottees not told so?
“We are going by what BDA has shown. So BDA’s house must first be in order,” the Dollars Colony resident says.

Siddaiah says people had invested their lifetime savings on their properties. “This colony consists of people who have worked 20-30 years abroad, saved part of their earnings and returned, thinking of a calm, retired life in Bengaluru. But is this what they get in return? We have all bought land as per public auctions, which are lawful. Let them come with the notice. We will fight in accordance with the law.”

The BDA is an institution set up by the government, he points out. “It has officials from the government and it acts on behalf of the government. The constitution of BDA speaks for itself. BDA should come out publicly and state how it went about making this layout. It is the government itself.  So when the government itself has okayed the layout, where is the question of calling it unauthorised now?”

Dollars Colony Residents’ Welfare Association president K V Bhat is confident they will see through the crisis. “Dollars Colony layout cannot be compared with other layouts. The Lakshman Rau report has clearly stated that the Linganahalli lake (on which the Dollars Colony is constructed) should not be considered for preservation given that it is a dried-up, disused lake. There ends the matter. We are a colony with different parameters for examination,” Bhat explains. 

“The government itself has permitted the BDA to convert park and open spaces into residential colony. The land use change has been permitted by the BDA itself. How can the government and BDA now go back on their order?” asks Bhat.

“We have documents at every level to show what the BDA has done. And we have approvals at every level. If the notice comes to us, we will fight it legally.”

Another resident, Madhukar B A, a consulting engineer, says he and his neighbours are anxious about the future.

“The BDA, as the landlord, should call a press conference and state clearly what it has done, what process it followed, show all the documents for scrutiny and allow anyone who wants to say anything to come forward and say so. Despite so much noise all over the city over the demolitions, the BDA has not come forward and spoken out publicly. This is what is making all residents anxious.”