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Two months on, Karnataka govt yet to decide value for utilising palace land

Depending on the location, TDR or notional land is issued two to three times the guidance value of the relinquished property.
Last Updated : 12 May 2024, 02:46 IST
Last Updated : 12 May 2024, 02:46 IST

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Bengaluru: On March 15, the Siddaramaiah-led government decided to utilize 15 acres and 39 guntas of the Bengaluru palace ground to widen Ballari and Jayamahal roads by granting transferable development rights (TDR).

Two months on, the government is yet to decide on the base value of the ‘disputed’ property, thereby delaying the critical process of determining the extent of compensation. 

An ambiguous stand on the valuation could cost the government at least Rs 1,400 crore as compensation in the form of TDR. 

In mid-March, the apex court had directed the government to grant TDR to the legal heirs of Mysuru’s erstwhile royal family within eight weeks. The matter will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on May 17. 

While the government acted on the SC’s order of granting the TDR almost immediately, it did not notify the guidance value for deciding the volume of compensation.

Depending on the location, TDR or notional land is issued two to three times the guidance value of the relinquished property. 

In its recent letter, the Department of Personnel and Administrative Reforms (DPAR) – which is the custodian of the entire 472-acre palace land – had opined that the Bangalore Palace (Acquisition and Transfer) Act 1996 be followed for fixing compensation. The Act – whose validity was upheld by the High Court – had fixed Rs 11 crore as compensation for the entire palace land. 

While the Act is currently not enforceable ever since the Supreme Court had ordered ‘status quo’ in 1997, the government had at least twice in the past utilised some pieces of the palace land for infrastructure projects. On both occasions, first in 1999 and again in 2000, the extent of cash compensation was arrived at in proportion to the Rs 11 crore value fixed for the entire 472-acre land.  

So far, neither the Urban Development Department nor the Revenue Department has notified the government’s decision on valuation for 15 acres and 39 guntas of palace land.

The lack of direction could cost the government big. While the compensation for the palace property stands at Rs 35 lakh to Rs 55 lakh as per DPAR’s opinion, it could be as high as Rs 1,400 crore to Rs 2,800 crore, if the present guidance value is taken into consideration. 

Deepak C N, general secretary of Karnataka Rashtra Samithi was of the view that the government is deliberately delaying on the valuation.

“First of all, TDR cannot be granted for properties that are not free from encumbrances. The government should have provided cash compensation as it did twice in the past by presenting all facts before the court. At least now, the government must fix the value and safeguard the public interest,” he said.

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Published 12 May 2024, 02:46 IST

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