BDA Chairman S.R. Vishwanath alleges the deal is ‘illegal’
Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa on Tuesday stayed the allotment of 12.5 acres to Bhavani Housing Co-operative Society, which Bangalore Development Authority Chairman S.R. Vishwanath alleged was ‘illegal’. The CM, who also holds charge of Bengaluru Development, has sought a report from BDA over the issue before a final decision is taken.
Mr. Vishwanath said he had briefed the CM on ‘illegal’ efforts to allot this valuable land worth nearly ₹500 crore to the Society late Monday night, following which a decision was taken to stay the process. He claimed that engineers were being pressured.
BDA acquired 32 acres and 36 guntas owned by Bhavani Housing Co-operative Society in Katriguppe in 1977-78 to develop Banashankari BDA Layout. The Society was not paid any monetary compensation, but was awarded 20 acres of alternate land in the same area in 1988. Since then, the Society has been waging a legal battle demanding that they be allotted the remaining 12.5 acres of alternate land.
Following two High Court orders directing BDA to consider the case as per law in 2017, the BDA Board then chaired by incumbent minister S.T. Somashekhar decided to allot 12.5 acres in an equivalent layout in 2019. The BDA had recently taken steps to allot the land.
Mr. Vishwanath termed this ‘bulk allotment’, banned as per BDA Act, 1976 and hence ‘illegal’. However, BDA Commissioner H.R. Mahadev said this was not a bulk allotment, but alternate land for land acquired by BDA but not compensated for, and hence ‘nothing illegal’.
Mr. Vishwanath alleged that prime land in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout and HBR Layout was being allotted to the Society. “Land worth ₹500 crore is being given away causing loss to exchequer,” he alleged.
However, Mr. Mahadev said allotment of alternate land was usually done in equivalent layouts, and did not involve monetary transactions.