Saturday, April 23, 2005

Govt. may not move SC on Arkavathy

Arkavathy hot with business deals
The Times of India

Bangalore: After the Karnataka High Court quashed the BDA’s land acquisition for Arkavathy Layout, individual site owners have been either constructing sheds on their (formerly disputed) lands or negotiating the highest possible deal for their sites.

In Amruthahalli, for instance, a whole set of spanking new concretebrick houses have sprung up. When the Times Team went to the area on Friday, a couple of labourers were building a boundary for one such site. They said they started work on Thursday.

Locals say this is happening in all areas ‘acquired’ by BDA for forming its mega layout. “Site owners are fencing off their property everywhere, it is happening in Dasarahalli, Srirampura, Jakkur and Amruthahalli,’’ says Vali Khan, an autorickshaw driver. Another local says his friend in Dasarahalli has built a house and already given it on rent. In Hoysalanagar Layout, for instance, BDA was supposed to build a road from the Jakkur Main Road. Land was cleared for the purpose. But individual owners fenced off the property last week. Locals say BDA officials used to visit the area regularly. “They used to mark sites and crosses but we’ve not seen them for a while now.’’

The demands are still high. Houses in these areas have a speciality — all of them bear a writ petition number. When the land acquisition process began, some 800 odd landowners had filed petitions against the BDA. The petition numbers are still visible because locals know the matter has not been closed yet.

Despite the possibility of BDA going on appeal, there is demand for sites in the area. While some are willing to sell off their sites at slightly low rates, some others have hiked up the prices.

Take the case of Roopasri, who came to Hoysalanagar Layout to stay at her grandmother’s place and buy a site. “We inquired everywhere, prices have gone up,’’ she says. “If I had got a 30X40 ft BDA site, I would have paid some Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh, people here want Rs 7 to 8 lakh. I cannot afford that,’’ she says, but is willing to pay up to Rs 300 a sq ft for a site. Her grandmother’s neighbour M. Puttaswamy agrees there is a rush for buy and sell, but feels those who now live in the area will suffer the most. “HC may have quashed the petition, but we live with uncertainty,’’ he said.

Incidentally, while Amruthahalli has only the most basic of facilities and is solely dependent on borewells, a whole new industry making concrete bricks has come up there. And this has come to the aid of landowners who are now constructing small buildings on their sites. ‘Don’t apply for refund’: The Bangalore Consumers’ Council has asked probable allottees of the layout not to take their money back. In a note issued on Friday, council vice-president K.S. Periyaswamy said the HC order “is not the ultimate, BDA and the government have other avenues in law to appeal against it.’’ If they do not appeal, the consumer council said it will “mobilise all aggrieved ‘probable’ allottees and file an appeal before a division Bench.’’

Govt may not move SC now

Bangalore: The Karnataka cabinet meeting on Saturday may prefer to file an appeal before the high court division Bench rather than approach the Supreme Court on the Arkavathy issue.

Meeting a week after HC quashed BDA’s act of acquiring land for forming sites in Arkavathy, much of the expected steam was taken out with JD(S) chief H.D. Deve Gowda’s statement. Though opposed to the project, he has given government the nod to go ahead and appeal against the judgment. Sources said filing an appeal directly before SC might not be the right move. “The court might strike it down, asking us to explore options available before approaching it,” they added.

30X40 ft sites in Amruthahalli cost anywhere between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 8 lakh.
Similar sized sites in Srirampura cost nearly Rs 9 lakh.
Land value has shot up from Rs 170/sq ft to nearly Rs 700/sq ft.
All these lands were supposed to come under Arkavathy Layout.


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