Siddaramaiah denotified lung space land near Lalbagh: BJP

Land meant for park given to pvt developer for realty project: Ashoka

The BJP on Wednesday levelled fresh charges of land denotification against Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accusing him of allowing a real estate project to come up on 2.39 acres that was meant for park and public amenity near Lalbagh.

"Siddaramaiah has denotified 2.39 acres on survey numbers 27/1, 28.4, 28/5 and 28/6 of Lalbagh Siddapura village that was originally earmarked for the purpose of park or public use. This was done to favour a private developer named Ashok Dhariwal," BJP leader R Ashoka, a former deputy chief minister, told a press conference. He also released documents to support his claim.

"The file seeking conversion of land use was rejected by previous chief minister Jagadish Shettar," Ashoka said. "The land in question is attached to Lalbagh and was meant to be a lung space. By denotifying it, Siddaramaiah has deprived Bengalureans of lung space. Now, a realty project with crores invested in it, is coming up there," Ashoka said.

On November 18, 2014, the Urban Development department issued an order allowing the land to be converted for residential use. The land use was changed as per Section 69(2) of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961. The order says Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) failed to acquire the land even five years after it was earmarked for the purpose of park and open space in the Revised Master Plan 2015, which came into effect in June 2007.

Ashoka said  the land was worth more than Rs 200 crore. "The land is part of the Jayanagar 1st block area. Jayanagar was given to the city by the Mysore kingdom, which the late N Lakshman Rau (retired IAS officer) developed into one of Asia's most desirable residential localities. We've had so many CMs, but why is it that only Siddaramaiah eyed this land in Jayanagar area?"

The BJP has demanded cancellation of the denotification. "We will make sure this reaches its logical end," Ashoka said.

In the past, the BJP has accused Siddaramaiah of denotifying 6.26 acres of land in Bengaluru's Bhoopasandra. The CM also faces charges of denotifying large tracts of land meant for the Arkavathy Layout. Siddaramaiah has strongly rejected all charges.

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Charges baseless: Cong

The ruling Congress refuted the BJP's charge and called it "baseless."

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) vice-president B L Shankar said the government was only following a High Court order. "Now, the matter is pending before the Supreme Court. But Ashoka has chosen to pick out documents selectively," Shankar said.

Apparently, one Preethi Ranka had applied seeking conversion of land use from 'park and open space' to residential way back in July 2011. "The land in question has got nothing to do with Siddaramaiah. "Ashoka is simply trying to impress BJP chief Amit Shah," he said.

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