BDA blamed for zoning violations by developer

BDA blamed for zoning violations by developer

The latest Comptroller and Auditor General report has pulled up the Bangalore Development Authority for allowing a developer to build guest houses and sell them as independent villas around a golf course. This is in violation of zoning regulations, the report has said.

According to the CAG report on the general and social sector tabled in both houses of the legislature on Monday, lack of monitoring on the part of the BDA helped the developer Prestige Estates Projects Ltd to go ahead with a project that sought to develop 460 luxury villas spread over 104 acres around a golf course in Vaderahalli village in Bengaluru East without adhering to norms.

In October 2012, the land owner of survey number 27 to 42 and 56 of Vaderahalli village, Bengaluru East, approved conversion of land use from agricultural to non-agricultural use for the construction of a golf course and ancillary units with the condition that the land will be used only for the purpose intended.

However, the landowner in June 2013 entered into an agreement with the developer to develop the property. The developer submitted a proposal to build 460 luxury villas on the property. The report states that the BDA failed to monitor the compliance to zoning regulations as the developer sold the guest houses as residential units on agricultural land.

The report stated that the BDA has now recalled the building plan sanctioned to the developer. It has directed the developer to comply with norms. The CAG has cautioned that BDA needs to take preventive measures and put in place a mechanism to continously monitor adherence to its norms especially for large projects to protect buyers.

Prestige responds
According to zoning regulations, if the land in a green belt is 40 hectares and above, a golf course is permitted to be developed and 20% of the land can be used for construction of guest houses with ground-plus-one structure. The byelaw or zoning regulations do not prescribe that guest houses on a golf courses cannot be sold. We had taken a sanction for the development of a golf course, club house and construction of guest houses as per the byelaw by paying commercial sanction charges to the BDA on 101 acres of land. The BDA work order does not stipulate any condition of non-alienation of any part of the development as it is not possible under law. Based on this sanction, we are developing the land in accordance with the approved plan. BDA, based on CAG observation, has claimed the sale of guest houses is not correct. We have suitably replied to the notice and the matter is sub judice.

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