A peek into the shady business of khatas

A peek into the shady business of khatas

A peek into the shady business of khatas

Almost ten years after the merger of 110 villages with the Bangalore Municipal Corporation (BMP) to form the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the debate continues: How much the City has benefited by extending its limits.

There, however, is hardly any doubt that the real estate mafia has been benefited the most, which used every illegal means such as preparing bogus land records to regularise properties and sell them.

A case in point is khata number 685/92/15/1/192, pertaining to site number 191 in Arehalli of Uttarahalli ward (ward number 184). K Nageswar Rao alias Babu had filed an RTI application on July 30, 2014, seeking details about the measures taken to issue 'A' khata for the said property.

The reply he got 25 days later was that the details of the property have been carried forward from panchayat register to the BBMP records.

However, the Palike’s assistant revenue officer said in his RTI reply that the BBMP has not issued any khata ever since Uttarahalli came under the BBMP limits and there are no records available on the khata issued by the civic body.

But, BBMP had indeed issued an 'A' khata certificate for the property bearing the signature and seal of the assistant revenue officer of the ward. The Palike's revenue department had even given the khata extract of the said property.

RTI applicant Rao wonders, “Now the challenge before me is, which one should I trust – the RTI reply or the khata I have with me. Even the RTI reply is not devoid of ambiguity, which says that the panchayat khata has been carried forward to the BBMP records after the merger of Uttarahalli with Palike. When khata has been carried forward after the merger, how come no records pertaining to it are available with the BBMP?”

Rao has details of at least 227 cases where RTI replies lay bare the entire bogus khata business.

Tip of an iceberg

He adds, “What I have with me is just a droplet of an ocean of khata scam in the BBMP. Check the revenue records in all the wards under the five new zones of Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bommanahalli, Dasarahalli, Mahadevapura and Yelahanka where a mega khata loot is happening.”

He claims that khatas have been issued for government land besides BBMP properties.