Sunday, February 28, 2010

HC faults BDA on land acquisition

HC faults BDA on land acquisition

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 27 Feb 2010 08:19:06 AM IST
BANGALORE: The High Court on Friday criticised the manner in which land acquisitions and subsequent denotifications were being carried out by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
It suggested necessary amendments should be made to laws to prevent politicians, bureaucrats, land mafia and middlemen from misusing loopholes to their advantage and earn easy money and property at the cost of the government and people.
In his judgement on a writ petition filed by Gangiah Naidu with regard to returning of betterment charges, Justice N Kumar observed, “The non-collection of betterment charges for the land that was denotified from acquisition is illegal and contrary to law.” However, the court upheld BDA’s decision to denotify some of the lands that were notified or acquired.
Justice Kumar added, “Though the poor farmers’ lands are being acquired, we find that most of the times the beneficiaries are well placed and influential persons.
The locals who are living in the city for more than 30 to 40 years are unable to get a site.” “We cannot be passive spectators to what is happening in the name of land acquisition in public interest and for the planned growth of the city. Acquisitions are being done without proper survey or planning.” “In most cases, more than 50 per cent of the notified land is given up. People other than the farmers would be holding general power of attorney in such lands and they take the benefit of the development done by BDA.
This has made Bangalore a lucrative place and also a cause for circulation of unaccounted hard cash into the system.
“The land has become a goldmine for owners and they enjoy the benefits of formation of layout at the expense of innocent people.
Such denotification has given rise to a new breed of professionals who are successful in manipulating and getting things done. Money power and proximity to the seat of power help their cause. Politicians, bureaucrats and land mafia are partners in this lucrative enterprise which is polluting the health and culture of the society.” Justice Kumar gave the example of Banashankari VI phase, where “only 750 acres were utilised out of the notified 1,532 acres and remaining 782 acres were given up.”

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