The ‘hidden’ sites of Bengaluru which even BS Yediyurappa did not have access | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: In a serious admission of a scam within the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday said that even he was unaware of the extent of vacant government approved sites in the city.
During a debate on the motion to give vote of thanks for the governor’s address, BJP MLA and chairman of the Karnataka housing board (KHB) Argajnanedra said there was inexplicable extent of government land which has been lost to encroachment with the connivance of officials.
As he was speaking, Congress MLA HK Patil intervened and urged the CM to take stock of the extent of sites which have been lost due to encroachment and illegal sale.
Responding to this CM Yediyurappa stood and said: “You will be surprised that even I did not have access to the extent of vacant sites which are available in the BDA. When asked, officials have told me that there are no documents.”
Yediyurappa said that neither he nor ministers or MLAs could have access to the documents and only the officials had the access.
“These documents are shown only when someone agrees to pay the officials. You will not believe the extent of the scam which has occurred in the BDA,” he said.
Lending credence to the argument, Argajnanendra said as part of the KHB he had conducted a survey in Kengeri to identify the vacant sites in the area to construct affordable housing under a project which has been pending since 1976.
“When I contacted the officials, they told me not a single site was available in the vicinity. Later, I sent my own team to the area and they identified as many as 74 vacant plots in the area which were covered with debris. These officials collect money at Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,000 per square feet value to show them to any interested buyer of the plot,” claimed the BJP MLA.
Yediyurappa said, earlier last week, he had reviewed the BDA for two days straight and found there were serious loopholes in the way the authority was functioning.
“I have taken the decision to revamp the entire BDA and transfer out all those who have been at the authority for a long time. You will see the results shortly.”
He also added that the government was considering recovering all these vacant plots and distributed it among the urban poor to construct their own houses.
“Let them at least have a peaceful life instead of it falling into the hands of the land mafia,” he said.
Later, BDA chairman and Yelahanka MLA S R Vishwanath recalled the story of recently deceased Sindgi JD(S) MLA and former minister M C Manuguli who had come to meet him over a BDA site that was allotted to him 20 years ago.
“He came to meet me, a week before his demise, and told me that till date the BDA has not given him an alternate site which was allotted to him. The same was the case with former MLC KC Kondaiah who met me in this regard. A lot of these officials have been trying to hide the sites and not show them on the records,” he claimed.

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Sagar Biswas

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