Hope among property owners but confusion prevails

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The Bruhath Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)’s push to convert lakhs of B Khata properties to A Khata has been welcomed by many. But it has also sparked a wave of confusion and apprehension about the implementation of the whole process.

While the Palike aims to increase its revenue collection by bringing the unregularised properties into the tax bracket, the proposal has also raised several questions among the property owners. Here is a cross-section of people articulating their views.

Vishnu Prasad, a member of the Bellandur Development Forum notes that the confusion is a fallout of the lack of proper planning in previous BBMP actions. He stresses on the need for strong legal guidelines for this proposal.

He explains, “After allowing urban sprawl without planned execution, the need for conversion from B Khata to A Khata is inevitable. But there absolutely needs to be a policy framework to ensure that violations are avoided.”

When 110 villages were added to BBMP in 2007, there was a real estate boom but the area was not properly developed. “There were no proper provisions, budgeting or facilties – absolutely no futuristic plans. Strong enforcement is definitely lacking in BBMP,” says Prasad.

Naveed Ahmed, a part-time lecturer hopes that the process for the Khata conversion will be clear and direct to avoid middlemen and scams. “The BBMP should provide proper guidelines and collect the fees directly online, so that it becomes a transparent and easy task. This will ensure that there are no middlemen who scam people,” he explains.

He cautions about how unlawful violations that render A Khata properties as B Khata also affect unsuspecting buyers. “My friend purchased a 1,000 sqft land in Hegdenagar, where the owner had partitioned his land. While the whole land was A Khata, after partition, my friend did not receive the Khata. My North Indian friend was cheated of Rs 30,000 by a middleman. We need more clarity on the legal status of lands being sold,” Ahmed points out.

The confusion about the legality of the B Khata results in a lot of technical jargon. The term ‘B Khata’ itself implies that it is also a kind of Khata, or property registration.

Ajit Sequeira, a member of Whitefield Rising is quick to clarify, calling out the BBMP on its ‘Khata conversion’. “Technically, there is only one valid Khatha – the A Khata, which is a legal property registration that pays property tax to the BBMP,” he notes.

B Khata, he says, is a document with no legal relevance or technical value. “So under BBMP, there is an A Khata or no Khata. There is no question of a ‘conversion’ of Khatas. This seems like a scam to me!” Although the conversion is now just at the proposal stage, hopeful citizens are flocking to find out more information about the entire process.

Mujeer Ahmed, a data analysis professional says, “There is no clarity on how and when they are going to do it. I had gone to the Thanisandra BBMP office to enquire about this. An employee told me that it was just information, and they have received no communication from the government. They could not even tell me about the proposed Betterment Charges. They said, ‘A Khata is A Khata and B Khata is B Khata’.”

BBMP officials say that the proposal has been sent to the government and the various stakeholders will have to take a call. Meanwhile, many people are looking forward to news about any change in the B Khata confusion.

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