Saturday, September 05, 2009

Landlock unlocked

Landlock unlocked
Realty Sector Set To Get A Boost In And Around Bidadi; Masterplan Approved, Ending Three-Year Ban On Conversion And Layout Activity
S Kushala | TNN

Bangalore: Earth-moving equipment will roar back to life and developers will smile again in Bidadi.
After three years of ban on real estate activity, construction work will kick off in Bidadi and neighbouring Ramanagaram-Chennapatna area, with the chief minister approving long-pending interim masterplans. This, just months after realty major DLF withdrew its contract from the much-hyped Bidadi township project. An order is expected on Saturday.
The land was locked with ban on conversion and layout approvals since 2006. The Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s (BMRDA) masterplans were gathering dust on government tables.
Now, 4,000 acres in 111 villages around Bidadi have been earmarked as space that can be urbanized with residential, commercial and industrial usage. In Ramanagaram-Chennapatna, similar land has been opened up in 26 villages.
Urban development department principal secretary D Thangaraj told TOI: “Bidadi, Ramanagaram-Chennapatna masterplans have been cleared and an order is likely to be issued on Saturday.”
BACK TO WORK For three years, 1.14 lakh acres in 111 villages around Bidadi were locked, thanks to the land conversion ban. Development had hit ground zero. It was even harder for private investors who had clinched a deal for 2,000 acres at the cost of Rs 1,800 crore. Developers had bought land and signed joint development agreements with farmers to build apartments. Says CMD of Confident Group and secretary, Karnataka Township Developers Association, Roy CJ: “This is a great relief for developers. The ban was in place since 2006. With the approval, the government has allowed for planned growth of Bidadi.”
The BMRDA, which started work on interim masterplans for Magadi, Nelamangala, Kanakapura, Hoskote, Anekal, and Bidadi and Ramanagaram-Chennapatna, banned land conversion and layout development on July 14, 2006, on 4,000 square kilometres. The deadline was five months, after which the ban was to be lifted. While the deadline was kept by BMRDA, the maps were gathering dust with the government till April 2007, when other masterplans barring Bidadi were approved.
The government’s official version cites a technical hitch — that the Bidadi masterplan was prepared under the BMRDA Act and not Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act (KTCP), under which other masterplans were prepared
Unofficially, the delay in releasing the masterplan was to stop competition from other developers as a massive township was being planned
Now that DLF which was awarded the township project has withdrawn, the government has opened up Bidadi for development
To rejuvenate the realty sector that’s hit a low, the government has been doling out new schemes. It began with reducing stamp duty from 7.5% to 6%, no further revision of guidance value, and giving flexibility in land conversions.


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