Monday, July 20, 2009

CM hands key aides big sites in tony areas

CM hands key aides big sites in tony areas
Lucky 66 Pay Rs 10 Lakh For Plots Costing Over A Crore
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: A prime site measuring 50 ft by 80 ft in HSR, OMBR or HRBR layouts, RMV Extension or Koramangala, will cost anything beyond Rs 1 crore, even in the times of a shaky realty market.
But for those favoured by the chief minister — be they legislators, party workers, kith and kin or even his gunmen — the sites come for a song at Rs 10 lakh! The BDA on Saturday issued orders to allot sites to 11 persons under the CM’s discretionary quota (G-category). Of them, seven are BJP MPs, one MLA, two former MLAs and one social activist.
Just one month into Parliament makes the BJP MPs, including the chief minister’s son, eligible for large-dimension sites in upscale areas in Bangalore, notwithstanding lakhs of applicants waiting for BDA sites.
The G-category sites aka stray sites, the most prized possession of BDA, are eyed by those at the helm. As per the rule book, to be given to “those in public service’’, Gcategory sites are not sacrosanct anymore as they’re allotted to all and sundry, who are practically nowhere close to public service.
The cost factor isn’t easy to digest: just 250/sqft irrespective of the area. Recently, when chief minister B S Yeddyurappa allotted 66 G-category sites measuring 2,400 sqft and 4,000 sqft to his party members and several others, he easily caused a loss of not less than Rs 100-150 crore to the BDA coffers.
Executing the order, the BDA issued 11 allotment letters on Saturday to recentlyelected MPs, including the CM’s son. The cost of a 40 x 60 ft site or a 50 x 80 ft site in Indiranagar, Koramangala, RMV or RT Nagar is anyone’s guess. And what the beneficiaries pay is a mere Rs 6 lakh and Rs 10 lakh!
BDA SITE ALLOTMENT
RULE SAYS
30% allotted to people in public life as directed by the government: G category (Also comes with a rider — as may be directed by the government, read as CM)
30% should be disposed of by auction
15% to achievers in field of sports 10% to achievers in art, science and literature 5% each to military and exmilitary personnel, dependents of state government servants who have died during service and freedom fighters Ministers defend CM over site allotment 1,192 Sites Were Allotted By Successive Governments In The Past Decade
Bangalore: BJP ministers staunchly defend chief minister B S Yeddyurappa for allotting sites in Bangalore to 10 BJP leaders, including his son B Y Raghavendra.
“There’s nothing wrong in it. He hasn’t done this against the rules and has exercised his discretion. Let there be a scrutiny of what previous chief ministers have done,’’ said transport minister R Ashok.
Endorsing his colleague’s views, labour minister B N Bachhe Gowda said: “All chief ministers have done this. There’s nothing wrong in it.’’
Asked about Raghavendra’s qualification — he was elected about two months ago — to deserve the site, Ashok said: “After a person is elected, even if it is a day or month, he is an MP, and is eligible.’’
CM’s GOODWILL MOVE
Allotting stray sites is also a way a chief minister keeps his herd together, within reachable distance. Though there is no master-list of stray sites maintained by BDA deliberately, the section officers concerned have information about vacant sites in prime areas. This info is passed on to outsiders for a premium, explain officials.
Over the last decade, nearly 1,192 sites were allotted under G-category by successive governments. This is a ritual every chief minister follows just after assuming charge, and the formality is done in a frenzy before laying down office. In the previous government, 172 stray sites were allotted by H D Kumaraswamy during his 20-month tenure as CM. Of them, the last set of 45 allotments was done before stepping down, and was bestowed upon his staff at office and official residence.
GROUND REALITY
Majority of stray site allottees are politicians. The CMs most favoured include his first circle of officers, film actors, sportspersons and those without defined profiles
PREFERRED LOCATIONS
HSR Layout, RMV Extension, Banashankari, OMBR, Indiranagar, Nagarbhavi, HRBR Layout, Koramangala, JP Nagar, RT Nagar and BTM Layout
PREVIOUS ALLOTMENTS
Dharam Singh: In 19 months, 398 allotment orders were issued S M Krishna: From 2002 to 2004, sanctioned 296 sites
BENEFICIARIES
B Y Raghavendra (Shimoga MP) Janardhan Swamy (MP from Chitradurga district) Ramesh Katti (Chikkodi MP) S Fakirappa (Raichur MP) Shivaramagouda (Koppal MP) G Shantha (Bellary MP) Nalin Kumar Kateel (Dakshina Kannada MP) Satish Reddy (Bommanahalli MP) Rukmaiah Poojary (former MLA) Jayaram Shetty (former MLA) P V Krishna Bhat (social activist)

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