BENGALURU: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has developed 64 layouts in the city. The authority issued preliminary notifications to acquire 37,168 acres to develop the layouts and has paid compensation of about Rs 2,000 crore, but is yet utilise more than 1,100 acres.

The BDA had acquired thousands of acres for developing the layouts but did not have details on the number of acres utilised and the number of acres lying unsued even after paying compensation to the landowners for acquiring their land.

The lack of data on use of land and the land that has to be acquired after paying compensation to the landowners made Sai Datta, a social activist, approach the Karnataka Lokayukta seeking a direction to the BDA to conduct a land audit.

“I filed a complaint with Karnataka Lokayukta on July 20, 2017. Justice P Vishwanath Shetty has ordered the BDA to provide us with data on its properties. After four years, the BDA made the land audit report public on July 12, 2021,’’ said Sai Datta.

As per the land audit, conducted by E1 Technologies, the BDA had acquired 37,168 acres of land to develop 64 layouts and buildings are constructed on 7,059 acres of land acquired after paying compensation to the landowners. The audit report stated that BDA is yet to utilise 1,171 acres. Also, there are buildings existing on 11,399 acres of land notified by the BDA but compensation was not given to the landowners. It has also noted that 1,207 acres are vacant and the BDA is yet to pay compensation to the landowners.

“The BDA must take action to use the unutilised 1,171 acres. The BDA must prevent middlemen from encroaching on this land,” Datta said.

The BDA must take action to use the unutilised 1,171 acres. It should also prevent middlemen from encroaching on this land–Sai Datta, social activist

While Bengaluru South is in first place with 689 acres and 37 guntas of vacant land for which the BDA has already paid compensation, Bengaluru East is in second place with 230 acres of vacant land. The BDA has 186 acres and 12 guntas of vacant in Bengaluru West and 64 acres and 33 guntas of vacant land in Bengaluru North.Demanding that the BDA take the vacant land for which compensation is already paid into its possession, Ravi Krishna Reddy of Karnataka Rashtra Samiti described the BDA as a government real estate agency. “I demand the BDA take the vacant land and develop it. I am of the opinion that a few BDA officials have colluded with private land mafia. I suspect that the vacant land that was acquired and paid compensation may be handed to land mafia,” said Reddy.

BDA Commissioner Rajesh Gowda MB said the process of taking possession of vacant land would begin shortly.

“The land audit has identified the vacant land that has to be used by the BDA. Now, we have to look into legal issues pertaining to these lands. As of now, around 6,500 cases are pending at different courts,” said Gowda.

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