Friday, June 29, 2007

Byrasandra tank pledged, sold

Byrasandra tank pledged, sold

Staff Reporter

A developer raised loan, defaulted; bank auctioned the land for Rs. 7.6 crore

— Photo: K. Gopinathan

TRACING OWNERSHIP: A.T. Ramaswamy (left), Chairman of Joint Legislative Committee, inspecting Byrasandra tank, in Bangalore on Wednesday.

BANGALORE: Byrasandra tank, in the heart of city, had been mortgaged by an “enterprising” developer who, later failed to repay the loan, and the Debts Recovery Tribunal ordered its auction to enable the bank to recover its money. This was what the Legislature Committee on Encroachments in and around Bangalore stumbled upon during an inspection on Wednesday.

Committee chairman A.T. Ramaswamy, who visited a few places on Airport Road and Byrasandra, told presspersons that lake beds, drains and reserved forest land had been encroached by several builders and developers, in association with bureaucrats and politicians.

About 15 acres of Byrasandra tank, estimated at Rs. 200 crore, had been transferred to the Forest Department for protection in 1986. Some time later, Sierra Developers allegedly created false records and raised a loan of Rs. 5 crore from the Indian Overseas Bank in Jayanagar. When the borrower defaulted and admitted that he could not repay the loan, the Debts Recovery Tribunal ordered its auction so that the bank could recover its money. It was auctioned for Rs. 7.6 crore.

In 2005, the Forest Department filed a criminal complaint against the bank asking on what basis the loan was given. But so far no action had been taken on the complaint at the Tilak Nagar Police Station.

Earlier, three persons, M. Manohar, N. Krishnappa, Abbaiah, M. Muniraj and N. Krishnappa had filed a writ petition claiming ownership of the property but the case had been dismissed by the court. The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike added to the confusion, when in 1992, it violated a High Court order on leaving tank beds development-free and spent Rs. 1.2 crore to build a bund and fence the tank.
Unholy nexus

The tale of the “unholy nexus” among land grabbers, politicians and bureaucrats continued at another plot abutting the NIMHANS campus, and at Konena Agrahara and Kodihalli on Airport Road.

A 3.5-acre plot of land abutting NIMHANS had been encroached by Shivakumar of Rajatha Enterprises. Each gunta of land was estimated to cost Rs. 1 crore in this area. In Airport Road, encroachment to the extent of 15 acres, 32 guntas on the tank bed, estimated at Rs. 600 crore, was detected. More than 20 individuals and groups had encroached land to build apartments and houses here. At Kodihalli, 25 guntas of land, worth Rs. 65 crore was found encroached.

The committee’s updated report would be tabled in the forthcoming Legislature session. While Mr. Ramaswamy said he would leave it to the Chief Minister to reveal the names of prominent politicians and bureaucrats, and prominent persons who figure in the list of encroachers, he said the committee would insist on swift and severe action against the officials and politicians who had colluded to encroach on prime property.


Post a Comment

<< Home