BBMP planning to restart collecting betterment charges

A move to bail out of financial crunch

Though the governor has stalled the Sakrama scheme by returning the file to the government, the BBMP has chosen an alternative route to regularise the illegal settlements.

The BBMP is planning to restart collecting betterment charges, which was stopped five years ago. The BBMP started working on this idea a few months ago and formed a committee led by the Palike’s zonal commissioners, chief engineers, finance and revenue officials. The committee has recommended the BBMP Commissioner to proceed with the scheme and has fixed the betterment charges as well.

According to the Palike sources, the BBMP has proposed to charge Rs 1.2 lakh for a 2,400 square feet site, Rs 60,000 for a 1,200 square feet site and Rs 30,000 for the 600 square feet site.

The Palike would soon be sending the proposal to the government, which would discuss the issue in the Cabinet meeting and after scrutinising its feasibility. The Palike expects the government to take a decision soon and it would start collecting betterment fee in the next three months.

Sources said, the scheme was put off five years back because it was promoting ghettoisation of Bangalore.

Monetary woes

However, the Palike is currently reeling through poor financial condition and to add to its monetary woes, political groups are putting pressure on it, in view of the Palike elections that might occur this year, to carry out development activities in the illegal layouts.

To bail out the BBMP from the financial crunch, the government planned to bring the Sakrama scheme, which was turned down by Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj. Now the BBMP has recommended the collection of development fees from those who live in illegal layouts and want development activities in their areas.

The scheme would fetch a huge amount if it gets the government nod. There are around five lakh properties in the City which are illegal and have not paid betterment charges.

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