Karnataka: Govt mulls regularising 75,000 unauthorised buildings in Bengaluru

Bangalore Apartments, Bengaluru, Housing policy, Bengaluru news, BDA, BBMP, Akrama Sakrama

On similar grounds, the Janata Dal-led state government in 1996 first introduced the Akrama-Sakrama scheme to regularise unauthorised constructions. (Representational)

In a bid to streamline rampant illegal constructions in Bengaluru, the Karnataka government is mulling to set up a cabinet sub-committee to reintroduce an updated version of a scheme to regularise over 75,000 unauthorised building constructions in Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) layouts.

Confirming this, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said, "The owners of about 75,000 buildings built across 5,000 acres area in BDA layouts, have been identified as unauthorised. The owners of these buildings are yet to pay any development fee. A cabinet sub-committee will study the matter and will recommend ways and penalties to be levied to legalise them."

The sub-committee formed in this regard will be chaired by Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan with ministers R Ashok, S Suresh Kumar and V Somanna as other members.

READ| Bengaluru real estate: Mid-segment housing units sold most in first quarter, says report

On similar grounds, the Janata Dal-led state government in 1996, first introduced the Akrama-Sakrama scheme to regularise unauthorised constructions. However, different governments since then tried conceptualising and implementing the scheme in different ways but could not succeed as it often leads to legal complications.

At present, the BJP-led state government is trying to amend existing laws including the BDA Act (1976) to bring in a new version of the Akrama Sakrama scheme in a new name and form, sources told indianexpress.com.

According to minister Madhuswamy, residents of the buildings which failed to procure Occupancy Certificates (OC) have not been brought under the property tax scanner.

"This has allowed them to neither pay property tax, nor development fee to BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the city's local civic body) for violations including constructing sans plan approval, deviation of building bylaws, and such," the minister added.

READ| Bengaluru apartment complexes wary of Bangladeshi migrants, want police to verify workers

However, while the scheme is expected to help some builders who have raised structures deviating from government-approved plans to obtain an OC, some feel that the scheme might lead to more corruption.

"Even though this is expected to help some apartments which deviated from building bylaws now get OC easily by paying a fine. In the larger picture, the same will certainly help residents stay away from legal disputes pertaining to the same, once they start paying taxes," Bangalore Apartments' Federation (BAF) president H A Nagaraja Rao told indianexpress.com.

Going by initial plans, the government might levy 100% of guidance value as fine for large properties while the same would amount to 75% of guidance value for properties built on plots up to 30x40 sites.