Friday, September 22, 2006

Encroaachments around city top 12000 acres

Encroaachments around city top 12000 acres
Vijay Times

BBa an ngga allo orree:: The Delhi municipal corporation which went on a sealing drive to bring down illegal structures should serve as an eye-opener to the Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BMP). The drive assumes significance in view of the by-law and land use violation in Koramangala.

Despite the Karnataka High Court ordering suitable action with regard to 87 structures in Koramangala for various kinds of violations, the BMP has managed to raze only nine structures.

During the civic bodys attempt at demolishing buildings, it faced mild protests.

To top it, the Bangalore Development Authoritys (BDA) Master Plan-2015, which defines zoning regulations, is awaiting government nod.

The bone of contention is the identification of unauthorised commercial activity in the BMP areas.

For an area that has 6,000 properties, the survey has been going on for six months. Imagine surveying the entire Bangalore! Added to this, the BMP jurisdiction will be increased with the formation of Greater Bangalore.

The task of identifying by-law and land use violations can be a mammoth task on such a vast area. According to sources, engineers engaged in the task crib about the tedious process and non co-operation from the public.

BMP commissioner K Jairaj told Vijay Times there was always a nexus between some BMP officials and some builders in helping the former carry out constructions in violation of the building by-laws. To prevent such incidents, he had suspending erring engineers and initiated necessary action against them.

Besides, he had constituted three zonal vigilance squads to keep tabs on land use and bylaw violations.

To prevent unauthorised construction, BMP officials are ensuring the construction activity begins only after commencement certificate is obtained.

"Bangalore is a big city. Construction activity begins in the night and during holidays. It is physically impossible for the civic authorities to keep illegal construction and land use violation at bay," he said.

On the demolition drive, he said the BMP was awaiting the government order. "The public and builders should extend their co-operation to avoid all kinds of violations." The government is also contemplating a one-time regularisation of all kinds of kinds of deviations.

The 14-member Joint Legislative Committee (JLC) formed by the State government to detect illegal encroachments in and around Bangalore, is expected to find out about 12,000 acres of encroachment worth Rs 15,00020,000 crore.

Of the total 1.9 lakh acres of land coming under the purview of the committee, the survey of 45,000 acres is over and 64,000 acres of land needs to be surveyed.

Of the 45,000 acres surveyed, the committee has identified around 4,500 acres of illegal encroachment. Each acre in and around Bangalore would cost from Rs 2 crore to Rs 10 crore. Recently, the committee recovered more than 10 acres of land worth Rs 100 crore from Delhi Public School and passed it on to the BDA. Top bureaucrats and members of the land mafia, it is thought, have cornered up to 75 per cent of the land. The remaining 25 per cent of land is encroached upon by the poor, including labourers.

Speaking to VViijja ayy T Tiimmeess over the phone on Thursday, Channagiri MLA Mahima Patel, who is one of the members of the JLC, estimated that the committee would find out land encroachment worth Rs 15,000-20,000 crore by the time the survey of all the 1.9 lakh acres was completed.

“We have been given three months to complete the survey. Already, nearly one and a half months are over since we commenced the survey. But now, after going through all the documents, we have realised that the task cannot be completed within three months.

This is really a herculean task,” he said.


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