Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Dubious dealers cash in on demand

Dubious dealers cash in on demand
Rush For Sites A Blessing For Those Making Fast Buck
The Times of India

Bangalore: When it comes to buying and selling sites in Bangalore, even dubious realtors have ready takers.
Take the example of a ‘real estate developer’, who along with two others has been offering 90 sites for sale in Hunasemaranahalli near Yelahanka Air Force Station.

Last year, the project attracted the attention of one Kalpana and Subbiah Naidu (names changed). He works for an oil and gas company in Africa while she is a former school teacher. They wanted to buy 17 sites. The realtor told them the project required permission from the gram panchayat of the area. The Naidus did not bother to check if it needed an approval from BDA or Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA).

“A lawyer said everything was okay. We gave the developer a cheque for Rs 17.6 lakh prior to registration and said we would pay Rs 21.6 lakh later,’’ Subbiah said.

But the developer did not register the sites. “He fell ill, so his wife started acting on his behalf. And she evaded our calls.’’ Later, the Naidus realised they had been cheated, the sites were sold to someone else. Now, they want their money back.

In another case, a Wipro employee and her husband, bought a 60x40 ft BDA site in HSR Layout. After they started building a house on the site, they had to face a whole lot of problems. “Authorities from a nearby defence land started harassing us,’’ the victim said. She said others in the area were also being troubled in this manner.

Solutions: BDA commissioner M.N. Vidyashankar said the Naidus should have been more careful. “They should have checked whether the site falls under the jurisdiction of BDA or BMRDA,’’ he said. Besides, if the developer had 90 sites, the project should have been approved as a ‘layout’ by either BDA or BMRDA. “Without checking, how could an educated couple invest money,’’ he asked. He felt the only recourse left was to file a police complaint.

Vidyashankar, however, knew about the Wipro employee. “It’s a BDA layout but the defence authorities say a road comes in their land. They have not permitted us to asphalt the stretch. Other residents have appealed to us and we will solve the problem soon,’’ he added. Illegal sites: Like the Naidus, there are others willing to pay anything for sites. Last year, a real estate company had 30x40 ft sites (Rs 2.5 lakh upwards) for sale on the bank of Arkavathy river, which feeds into Thippagondanahalli (T.G. Halli) reservoir. The company had three other projects upstream of the river. The projects violated a government order declaring T.G. Halli and its catchment a ‘protected zone.’ Yet, they had several takers.

Under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, BDA approval is a must for projects within BCC or City Municipal Council and Town Municipal Council areas.
Beyond this, projects need BMRDA approval.
Ensure the project has BDA/ BMRDA approval, get the developer mark out your site on his map.
Validate title deeds, engage a good lawyer.
Don’t pay the developer until all documents are in order.


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