By: M.S.Yatnatti: Editor and Video Journalist Bangaluru: : My suggestion is, If you plan to buy a flat or plot always go for Bank loans (even if you have lots of money), when you take the loan route, the papers are legally checked by the bank and secondly, ensure there are minimum 4 - 5 banks offering loan for the apartment/residential colony. Look before you leap.Cons are everywhere . Beware of con artists: Con artists make money through deception. They lie, cheat and fool people into thinking they've happened onto a great deal or some easy money, when they're the ones who'll be making money. If that doesn't work, they'll take advantage of our weaknesses -- loneliness, insecurity, poor health or simple ignorance. The only thing more important to a con artist than perfecting a con is perfecting a total lack of conscience.What does the average con artist look like? Despite what you may think, he isn't always a shady-looking character. A con artist is an expert at looking however he needs to look. If the con involves banking or investments in properties, the con artist will wear a snappy suit. If it involves home improvement scams, he'll show up wearing well-worn work clothes. Even the basic assumption that the con is a "he" is incorrect: there are plenty of con women too."Ensure papers are in order verify the builder's credentials”. As per news paper reports Bangaluru real estate is booming .There are nearly 500 residential projects underway in and around Bengaluru adding around 60,000 new units and this indicates huge construction activity happening in and around Bangaluru.. Once the buyer has decided on the location and his or her budget either through own funds or housing loan -care and caution have to be exercised. For, buying apartments and falts and homes and villas involves many intricate and complex issues. The Bengaluru real estate market is vibrant, with builders catering to all sections of the society with apartments and villas of varying categories -built up area ranging from 650 sqft to 10,000 sqft and price Rs 30 lakh to Rs 10 crore plus.In case of many buyers All their hopes of having a dream home has been dashed to ground when they came face to face with un- ethical , un professional and murkier side of the few unscrupulous builders . There are some of the instances of their cheating with unsuspecting customers. Buyers should do their home work before buying anything from builders. Buyers should do complete research of the market and Google every builder and its website and do market research and compare price side by side with the quality parameters and take into account every conceivable item and prepare a project report. Confidence tricks and scams are difficult to classify, because they change often and often contain elements of more than one type.
Gramthana sites: Gramthana means non agricultural lands within the village limits usually used as village settlements. Gramthanas should be specifically ear marked in the revenue records and village panchayat records. The natural village boundary was allowed to expand for about 100 meters all around the village, as per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act. However, with the connivance of the local village accountants Form 20 or Form 9 which is a form for issuing khata to village house sites are produced overnight. Therefore lands which were being assessed to agricultural tax is suddenly assessed to house tax, by simply changing the forms in the local village office. Simply manipulating the local records cannot waive the permission needed for conversion of land by the Deputy Commissioner according to Section 95 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act. The tax assessed is usually in form 10, Rule 33. This is a rule for enhancement of land revenue and does not affect the nature of the land. In such cases, there will normally be no sanctioned plan for the layout and in fact there is no competent authority that can sanction such a layout. Problems of power connection, water connection, khata, etc all arise andare met with frequent harassment in the hands of petty bureaucrats who are in these departments. This practice of forming gramthana sites circumvents two important laws.The need for conversion of land and . The prohibition under section 79 A and B of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act that prevents a purchaser who is not an agriculturist from purchasing property. In order to curb the misuse of the gramthana provision, a circular has been issued by the Town Planning Authority that the present gramthana limits cannot be extended. The Deputy Commissioner may, if he finds that the land has been put for non agricultural use, cause the said land to be restored to its original condition and levy a penalty of Rs. 1000/- and also Rs. 25 per day for the period of continued contravention. In addition, the Tahsildar may issue a notice to the purchasers for violation of Section 79 A and B and section 80 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act and cause the land to be vested in the government and the sale deed declared null and void. However, no action has been taken to date which is the reason that this practice is on the rise. There are notices on display at several sub registrar's offices that caution the public against purchasing gramthana sites. However, registrations continue unabated. In many cases, a dual character of the land exists with a Pahani (R.T.C.) and house list (Form 10) existing simultaneously. The Pahani for the entire survey No.continues to exist in the name of the original agriculturist and the individual plots in the name of the individual site purchasers. This will cease only on conversion or the property. Several layouts have been formed in the green belt, and most of them are residential layouts. Some layouts simply have stones marking the so called sites, without any drainage facility, roads or constructed houses. Some layouts have fully equipped club houses, paved roads and bungalows sold to various purchasers. Are these layouts legal? Can a prudent purchaser buy a plot in these layouts and be satisfied with his title? In order to understand this topic, we have to refer to three act, 1. The Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961 2. The Karnataka Land Reforms Act, 1961and 3. The Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964. Various cross references will be made to these acts, while discussing topics like what is green belt, can lands in green belt be converted, what is change in land use, present practices followed in the green belt, etc.
The Karnataka Town and County Planning Act authorises the Town Planning Authority, which is the B.D.A. in the case of Bangalore, to draw up the Comprehensive Development Plan (C.D.P). The Town Planning Authority is thus a statutory body, created by legislation. The C.D.P. prepared by the B.D.A. is the blue print for the zonal regulations of Bangalore and its surroundings. In this C.D.P. the green belt area and the uses which are permitted in this area are set out. In this area land can be used only for the purposes of agriculture, horticulture, dairy and poultry farming, milk chilling centres, farm houses and their accessory building (not exceeding 200 sq. mts. of plinth area within the plot area limitation of 1.20 hectares), brick klins, quarrying , gardens, orchards, nurseries grazing pastures, marshy land, barren land and water sheets. Highway amenities like filling stations, weigh bridges and check posts.etc. are also permitted. Another use which is allowed is residential developments within the area reserved for natural expansion of villages and buildings in such areas should not exceed two floors. (Ground + 1) This is the so called gramthana land. No large scale construction activity is permitted in the villages falling in the green belt area. The Karnataka Land Reforms Act permits in certain cases, special permission to be given by the Deputy Commissioner, for purposes like schools, hospitals, libraries, sports clubs, cultural buildings, exhibition centres, low income housing, temples, etc. When this permission is applied for, an N.O.C. from the B.D.A. is required. Section 95 (3B) of the Karnataka Land Revenue Act specifically prohibits the Deputy Commissioner from granting permission for conversion of land in the green belt for any other purpose. So no land in the green belt can be converted. However, as stated above, under section 109 of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act,certain lands may be exempted from the provisions of the act and allowed to be used for the purposes of putting up industries, schools, low income housing, etc. So although lands in the green belt cannot be converted, certain types of activities can be exempted, provided special permission is procured. The lands can then be used only for the purposes for which it was exempted. Another area of confusion seems to be so called change of land use.What is this change of land use? Change in land use is different from conversion.Change in land use is availed of for inter changing from commercial, industrial and residential use. Agricultural land should always be converted. In order to apply for change in land use, there should be a difference in the present use to which the land is put and that designated in the C.D.P. The owner can then apply to the concerned authority (B.D.A.) to change his land use in accordance with the C.D.P. The government is duty bound to grant this permission and cannot refuse it. If a person wishes to divert lands hitherto held for agricultural purposes within the green belt area to non agricultural purpose, then change in land use does not arise because the C.D.P. permits no other landuse in the green belt. Such a person cannot apply for conversion of land also. So the only recourse open to him is to get his land exempted for certain specific purposes already mentioned above. At present various residential layouts are formed in the green belt. Two types of loop holes are exploited to form these layouts. One is the so called gramthana site and the second is the farm house and plantation route.
Regularisation of unauthorised layouts:Several unauthorised layouts have subsequently been ratified by the C.M.C by collecting betterment charges. These charges collected were rangingfrom Rs. 11 to Rs. 20 per sq. ft.This was supposed to ratifiy the layout. This has been the trend in Bangalore. This may also be the reason that unauthorised layouts flourish. However, the Karnataka High Court has, in one case, held that collection of betterment charges is illegal and the amounts collected has to be refunded by the concerned department.