Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pai Layout has 100 pc violations

Pai Layout has 100 pc violations
The Times of India

Bangalore: This layout boasts of 100 per cent violations, is not approved by authorities and is situated on a valley and a command area. Worse, it is on agricultural land which is still not converted.

Welcome to Pai Layout in K R Puram which has regularly been in the news. In December 2003, it set an example for citizens’ participation when residents chipped in with money to carry out road works. But this time, it is in news for wrong reasons.

When the layout was flooded during the last rains, the then chief minister ordered BDA to take up drain works. The preliminary survey done by the BDA opened up a Pandora’s box.

For the record, the layout spread across 54.35 acres is unauthorised. It is situated on the command area of Benniganahalli lake — bang on a live tank which carries water from Benniganahalli and Doddenakundi resulting in its blockage. Around 1.35 acres is (B) kharab land which cannot be sold as this patch accommodates additional water from the tank.

According to BDA, the status of this land in the record of Right, Tenancy and Crop is ‘agricultural’ as developers have not converted the land to non-agricultural. Also, the khata issued is Khaneshumari khata which is only meant to be issued for gramathana sites.

The layout has 56 multi-storied apartment complexes of which 37 are illegal — they have more than seven floors for which sanctions have not been obtained from BDA. As per law, the local CMC is empowered to issue licence for only ground plus three floors. This apart, construction of nearly 15 apartments is in progress. BDA has written to the stamps and registration department not to register them.

“As per government order, we have taken up drainage work at a cost of Rs 5 crore. This will be recovered from residents,’’ BDA commissioner M N Vidyashankar said.

However, nearly 1,120 families have paid betterment charges to the K R Puram CMC; they regularly pay property taxes and have recently paid nearly Rs 7 crore towards the user contribution for Cauvery water supply project.
Pai Layout welfare association president Anupama said: “Only recently we came to know about the lapses. Since banks gave us loans, we never assumed it was illegal. But the point is, when the CMC is collecting taxes, how can they call it illegal?’’

The government is contemplating one-time regularisation of agricultural lands being unauthorisedly used for non-agricultural purposes. In his address to the legislature on Friday, governor T N Chaturvedi said regularisation would bring in revenue to the government which will be used for improving infrastructure. This step will give relief to citizens who have houses in revenue layouts.


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