TDR outside BBMP limits under scanner

Farmers from Kodiyala Karenahalli, Bidadi Hobli stage a protest against transfer of lands as per the controversial TDR norms, for land filling and garbage segregation, in front of BBMP Office in Bengaluru on May 21, 2019. DH Photo/S K Dinesh

Issuing transferable development rights (TDR) and development rights certificates (DRCs) for land acquired for a solid waste management project near Bidadi is now under the scanner. After the high court stayed the grant of TDR for the project outside BBMP limits recently, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) is also expected to look into the issue.

The land in question is 40 acres and 5 guntas of agricultural expanse at Kodiyala Karenahalli village in Ramanagaram district. Though the proposal for acquiring the land was first made in 2009-10 — during the peak of Bengaluru’s garbage crisis — methods employed to acquire the land have raised eyebrows. To complicate matters, BBMP has signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a waste-to-energy plant at the site.

According to Amruthesh N P — who petitioned in high court — setting up a plant “30-40 km away from Bengaluru was of no use” as solid waste management units were operational within the BBMP limits. “TDRs and DRCs were issued to landowners in haste in the past few months,” he said.

While land acquisition for projects outside BBMP limits does not require TDR, a special provision was made for the land at Kodiyala Karenahalli, Amruthesh said. A government order to the effect was issued in 2013 with a few conditions. Among them was that the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Planning Authority (BMICPA) was to acquire the land and hand it over to BBMP free of cost.

Apart from it, the TDR issued by BMICPA mandated that DRC be used within a 25-km radius of the land. This will allow DRCs for the land to be used in BBMP areas such as JP Nagar, Kengeri, Banashankari 6th Stage in BBMP limits.

Amruthesh alleged that the special provision to acquire land near Bidadi allows authorities to unduly inflate the land value to benefit real-estate developers, as exposed in the recent TDR scam. “The 40-acre land worth around Rs 8 crore, when converted to square feet and sold under TDR will fetch around Rs 40 crore,” he alleged.

Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, SWM said BMICPA has followed procedures. “The land will be handed over to us soon,” he said. Some people have claimed that the 40-acre land at Bidadi, which is worth Rs 6 to 8 crore is being purchased at Rs 40 crore by providing TDR.

“But any layman can understand that the price of Rs 40 crore for that land in a developing suburb like Bidadi is not too much,” he added.

ACB sources said that they have received complaints regarding the issue and are likely to pursue the same.

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