Exploiting a three-line gap How the scam takes place

Exploiting a three-line gap How the scam takes place

The khata fraud is widely prevalent in the newly added areas of the BBMP. The trick is to show that the site in question is a gramatana site, which means that the land is part of the age-old residential human settlement in a particular village and not an agriculture land.

The British regime, which surveyed every inch of land in India about a century ago, gave survey numbers only to the revenue land and not the areas in the village where there was human settlement.

There was a separate record book in the village panchayat to register the residential plots in the human settlement in every village. Such plots are known as gramatana sites in  revenue parlance in Karnataka.

After the merger of 110 villages, one CMC and three TMCs with the BBMP, khatas of gramatana sites were carried forward from the old panchayat records to the BBMP. There had been a habit of leaving  a three-line gap between the two entries in the panchayat ledgers for the gramatana  sites.

That gap in the register has come as a boon for the fraudsters, who make new entries in the ledger. This is then recorded in the BBMP registers, showing that the record of the property has been carried forward from the panchayat to BBMP.

Once that is done, the khata extract is also issued. With these bogus records, building plans are obtained on revenue land and construction commences. Once families settle in those buildings, it becomes difficult to demolish them, on humanitarian grounds.

The BBMP has issued numerous demolition notices on many buildings, but hardly any of them has been implemented. This ‘humanitarian ground’ has transformed Bengaluru into a concrete jungle, leading to multiple problems, ranging from traffic issues, lack of lung space, haphazard growth, health hazards and so on.

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