BDA's controversies hurting its reputation

BDA's controversies hurting its reputation

BDA's fall from grace: rows deal a body blow to once-model agency

The Bangalore Development Authority has an important place in the city's development over the decades, but recent controversies have dealt a severe blow to the agency's credibility.

Inordinate delays in ensuring basic infrastructure for some layouts and denotification of assets to indirectly help real-estate dealers sparked off controversies that could resonate during the forthcoming Assembly polls.

The agency must largely be thanked for the creation of several new layouts that helped in easing the city's housing problem, while the BDA was also instrumental in major infrastructure projects like laying the ring road, maintaining the lakes and constructing shopping complexes to help small businesses.

Not too long ago, people queued up to buy BDA sites, but their confidence in the agency has been severely dented after the Arkavathy Layout denotification scam.

Hundreds lost their sites in the aftermath, but their protests for several weeks was not enough to needle the BDA into a proper response. The agency eventually came forward to give plots to the affected people in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout.

Layouts ignored

The BDA has also come under fire for failing to build infrastructure for the Vishweshwaraiah and Banashankari Layouts, despite having created them several decades ago. Ironically, these layouts contribute a lot to its income.

The agency invited applications to distribute 5,000 plots at the Kempegowda Layout, but used up the fee collected for the application for other works. It eventually took a loan to repay the unsuccessful applicants, while also borrowing to build homes and pay its employees.

Now, it owes Rs 100 crore to HUDCO, Rs 2,345 crore to Canara Bank, Rs 32 crore to KUIDFC and Rs 220 crore to Syndicate Bank.

Shockingly enough, the BDA does not have proper documents of its own assets. All documents must be digitised.

"There should be a system wherein the commissioner himself should be able to provide details of the plots immediately without having to rely on the engineers," said a senior BDA official, who did not wish to be named.

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