BDA diverting civic amenity site for private gain, say HBR residents

Site has rightful owner, will examine issue says BDA

The HBR Layout 5th Block Residents Association is anxious that a civic amenity site in HBR Layout is being diverted by the BDA for a private purpose.

They contend that the site No 15, located on 18th main road, 26th cross, 5th Block, HBR Layout, is being given away to a private party to open a school. The Association’s argument is that the area already has a school and that there is no need for an another one.

However, the BDA, in a response to the residents’ issued on May 21 by the assistant executive engineer concerned, has said that the land has a rightful owner. The BDA has stated that the site No 15 has been given to an organisation, ‘Friends Welfare Association’ to build a school. “We don’t know under what circumstances the BDA granted the site to an NGO. At present, there is a board on the site which mentions an organisation’s name. A few months ago, there were discussions that some local politician had influenced the BDA to give the CA site on lease to the NGO. We don’t know the politician nor do we know which NGO has got the land, but we understand that the site is not being used for civic amenity as it should be,” claimed Lakshmikanth, Secretary of HBR Association.

He said the local residents have to travel two kms to get basic everyday items like milk, vegetables and postal services. “We are surprised to see that some unauthorised construction is going on at the CA site. It seems that in connivance with some junior officials, goondas have planned to grab this land,” the secretary has claimed in a letter to the BDA.

But in an earlier letter dated December 5, 2014 to the BDA and to the residents association, the then assistant executive engineer has stated that the BDA has nothing to do with the site as the layout comes under Byatarayanapura CMC and BBMP. The letter states that BDA had taken up some road work in the layout only under pressure from the home minister, while it need not have done the same as the land comes under the CMC and the BBMP. When contacted, the present BDA assistant executive engineer stated that he would find out whether there had been an out of turn, illegal allotment. “If it is being diverted from a public purpose, we will definitely take action. Let the residents come and meet the Secretary, Allotment Depart­­ment.”

The BDA Town Planning member Chowde Gowda had another take. “If a school is coming up, then the public purpose is served. School is considered a civic amenity and there can’t be objection to that. In case it is being diverted for private gain, then the matter can be investigated. If there is a problem related to the layout plan, let the residents meet me, we will set right the problem,” Gowda said.

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