Respite for owners of BDA sites on lakebeds

Respite for owners of  BDA sites on lakebeds

Owners of properties developed by the Bangalore Development Authority on lakebeds can now breathe ease: A Legislative Assembly committee looking into encroachments of lakes has directed the revenue authorities not to issue show-cause notice to the BDA site allottees.

Reason: pressure from leaders of political parties. A large number of politicians from across all parties and their followers have got BDA sites allotted in their names under various quotas, including the government quota (also called G category).
They are learnt to have mounted pressure on the Assembly secretariat and ensured that the show-cause notice is not issued to the BDA site allottees, sources in the government said.

Instead, the notice will be issued to the BDA, seeking its reply as to why the encroachment should not be cleared. The BDA has formed 14 layouts on lakebeds and allotted sites to over 3,500 people over the years. Banashankari III stage, HAL III stage, HSR Layout, HSR Sector 3, East of NGEF, HRBR I Block, ST Bed Layout Koramangala, BTM VI stage, Nagarabhavi, two phases of RMV II stage, Nagarabhavi II stage, Dollar’s Colony and JP Nagar IV phase are some of the layouts developed by the BDA on lake land. The Authority has encroached upon an estimated 484 acres, covering 41 lakes over the years, as per the committee’s findings.

The lake encroachment committee is headed by senior Congress MLA K B Koliwad. The committee, while disclosing its finding to the media recently, had stated that a show-cause notice will be issued to all those owning properties on lake lands.

Koliwad had even named Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa as a BDA site allottee and said the notice will also be issued to Kagodu, seeking his reply. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, too, had got a site allotted in his name, but he later disposed it of.

Koliwad denies pressure
When contacted, Koliwad, however, denied there was any pressure and defended the decision not to issue the notice to the BDA site allottees.

“The allottees have not encroached upon the lakes. It is the fault of the BDA and not the allottees. The BDA should have been careful while developing layouts,” he stated and added that an appropriate decision will be taken after examining the BDA’s reply.

Besides, the sources said the tahsildars, who are tasked with the responsibility of issuing notices, are finding it difficult to locate the encroachers of lakes. The revenue authorities have not been able to find out the address of owners of these properties on lakes, especially those in the names of individuals.

The committee had directed the revenue authorities to issue notice till February 15 and get the reply by this month-end. But the date for issuing the notice is likely to be extended as the revenue officials are currently busy with the zilla and the taluk panchayat elections.

The committee has identified 11,595 encroachers, including some big builders. Of the total 57,576.17 acres of lake land in the Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts, about 10,472.34 acres worth about Rs 1.50 lakh crore are under encroachment.
DH News Service

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