Backlash over allotment of open grounds to charities

A senior BDA official, however, said the allotments are legal as the residents have lost the case in the High Court as of January this year
Last Updated : 22 August 2022, 02:23 IST

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The decision to lease a playground and a park as Civic Amenities (CA) sites to three organisations has been opposed by the residents of HAL 3rd Stage, Jeevan Bima Nagar.

They have urged the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to cancel the agreement to lease the only open areas in the neighbourhood, which residents of all ages use for recreational activities.

Measuring about 1.25 acres, the prime plot is located in LIC Colony, which consists of 513 row houses allocated to policy holders of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) through an all-India notification in 1991. The 30-year lease of three large plots to organisations such as Mogaveera Sangha, Kodagu Mathu Dakshina Kannada Gowda Samaja and the Humble Charitable Trust has indeed stunned the residents.

Protest at site

In June, LIC Colony residents staged a protest when one of the sites allotees — Kodagu Mathu Dakshina Kannada Gowda Samaja — arrived with BDA engineers to fence the plot allotted to them with barbed wires and install a gate at the property.

Heated exchanges ensued between the two groups when the residents demanded valid papers from the allottees. Opposing the community centres, residents reached out to CV Raman Nagar MLA S Raghu and Additional Chief Secretary at the Urban Development Department Rakesh Singh to help cancel the allotment since it would destroy the much-needed open space.

“There are powerful lobbies at work trying to take possession of these prime plots and convert them into concrete clusters of buildings. This deprives us of recreational space, not to speak of the noise and pollution that this will inevitably bring on. The construction activities and increased traffic will shatter the peace and calm of this place,” a senior citizen said. “The utilities designed for this colony, such as water lines, sewage lines and garbage collection will completely collapse because of the additional burden.”

Sources privy to the developments said the BDA does not have the authority to allot a playground or a park as a CA site to any trust or organisation.

‘Legal move’

A senior BDA official, however, said the allotments are legal as the residents have lost the case in the High Court as of January this year. He admitted, in the same tone, that the 2013 order was in favour of the residents.

A residents’ forum responded by saying they have filed a writ appeal in April contesting the high court ruling.

Published 21 August 2022, 19:27 IST

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