Sunday, August 24, 2008

150 acres near Bangalore up for grabs

150 acres near Bangalore up for grabs

Bangalore Bureau

53.22 acres of land around the State capital to be auctioned

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Government has revived the controversial auction of government land around Bangalore city with the Bangalore Urban District Deputy Commissioner initiating the process. Nearly 53.22 acres of land around Bangalore is proposed to be auctioned on August 27. In addition to this, the Government also plans to auction more land on August 29 and September 5. About 150 acres of land will be auctioned on all the three days.

The land scheduled for auction on August 27 includes residential land of 23.07 acres and agricultural land of 21.11 acres. Besides, 2.07 acres of land coming under Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Planning Authority, and 3.37 acres of land coming under Anekal Planning Authority is to be auctioned.

According to the schedule of land put out by the Government on August 7 inviting bidders to take part in the auction process, the size of the land proposed for auctioning varies from a minimum of 0.05 acres to a maximum of 4.22 acres. Some of the plots proposed for auctioning are as close as 12 to 15 km from the Vidhana Soudha at Byatarayanapura in Yelahanka hobli where the land value is high.

The Government has proposed in its budget to set up “Karnataka Public Lands Corporation” to raise resources for development of infrastructure through the sale or lease of valuable government land. It has planned to mobilise about Rs. 3,000 crore through sale of land in and around Bangalore in 2008-09.

According to official sources, the Government is preparing to auction 5,000 acres of land in and around Bangalore from August 27 to March next year.

It hopes to realise Rs. 3,000 crore target fixed by the Chief Minister in the budget. As many as 447 acres of land cleared from encroachments was auctioned during the previous government.

The auction of land under the previous government was criticised by many parties and citizens groups.

They argued that the auction process allowed the encroachers from whom the land had been seized to legally enter the real estate sector in Bangalore. The present auction has been criticised by a group of eight like-minded parties and organisations, that include the Left parties, the Dalit Sangharsha Samithi, and others.

They have threatened to forcibly stop the auction with the help of 2,000 activists if the Government did not put an end to the auction process.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) Bangalore District secretary Prakash K. told The Hindu that instead of auctioning the land the Government could use it for providing housing facilities for the poor and other public utility services.

He alleged that the BJP Government had plans to auction nearly 100 acres of land per week in the coming days.


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