By : M.S.Yatnatti Editor and Video Journalist Bengaluru : Big demand for civic amenity sites in Bangalore .Reportedly Government of Karnataka After having exhausted almost all the civic amenity (CA) sites in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) region, now the State government is eyeing those located in the Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) jurisdiction for allotment..The government has initiated steps to allot CA sites in the BMRDA limits, including six local planning authorities of Anekal, Kanakapura, Magadi, Nelamangala, BIAAPA and Hoskote. The Urban Development Department(UDD) recently gave its approval to draft rules - the Karnataka Planning Authorities (Allotment of civic amenity sites) Rules, which will be notified shortly.The government has not been able to allot CA sites located in the BMRDA jurisdiction since its inception in 1985 in the absence of the rules. According to estimation by the BMRDA, there are more than 3,000 CA sites in its jurisdiction, covering 8,005 sq km. But the BMRDA is yet to create a database of CA sites available with it. In the BDA areas, almost all CA sites have been allotted: Of the 1,317 CA sites located in the BDA jurisdiction, only 24 are left. The government has allotted them over the years .As per the layout development rules of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 25 per cent of the total layout area should be reserved as CA site. Of this, 15 per cent will be for parks and playgrounds and 10 per cent for providing civic amenities such as bus stand, hospital, crematorium and library.As per the draft rules framed for allotting CA sites in the BMRDA, the State and Central government departments, statutory bodies and non-statutory bodies of both the governments, registered societies, associations and trusts created wholly for charitable or educational or religious or cultural or philanthropic purposes are eligible for allotment. Allotment will be done only on lease basis for 30 years and there is a provision to extend the lease period.The rules propose to set up a Civic Amenity Site Allotment Committee headed by the BMRDA chairman, who is the chief minister. It also comprises three official and non-official members. The committee will have powers not only to allot CA sites, but also fix the lease amount.The allottees have to complete the construction of the building within a period of three years from the date of allotment.If not, the BMRDA will have the powers to cancel the allotment and take back the site. But this rule does not apply to the Central and State government and their organisations.
Like many private layouts in the rapidly urbanising outskirts, Classic Orchards is a quiet residential community, with large independent houses. In 2010, the residents of Classic Orchards woke up one day to see the construction of an apartment complex on a piece of land they thought was a common amenity for the layout. If you are a resident of a private layout, this story will matter to you.Battles between property developers and property buyers are not uncommon. In a city like Bengaluru, where there are multiple government agencies involved in handling building approvals, one is often not sure if the property one is buying has met the conditions of sanctions and is safe from litigation. As many buyers have realised, it is not just the home that one has to consider, but the entire layout within which your house is located.A type of litigation that seems to erupt on and off involving residents and developers is on use of common areas such as parks and civic amenities. Despite earlier rulings that have brought some clarity to the use/ maintenance of parks, open spaces and CA sites after they have been relinquished, owners and the associations still have had to approach the courts to get their disputes with the builders resolved. A very recent instance that resulted in a High Court verdict is that of Classic Orchards Property Owners Association (COPOA) in Bangalore.
About Classic Orchards: Reportedly Classic Orchards is a 70-acre layout of residential sites in Kothanur Village developed between 1995 and 2006, off Bannerghatta Road. The land that was in Uttarahalli Hobli, Bangalore South Taluk, was developed by M/s Amalgamated Property Developers (APD) of the Valmark Group, in two phases, between 1995 .As per the land conversion order issued by the Bangalore District Commissioner (DC) in March 1993, sanction was accorded to 16.06 acres of land, for residential and commercial use. The order specifies that approval of the layout and buildings should be obtained from BDA/ VP (Village Panchayat), and that specific portions would need to be relinquished towards roads and open spaces, as per the rules laid down by BDA/VP.
Reportedly Residents of Classic Orchards say that some time in around 2010, APD, through an associate company, started preparation for the construction of a multi-storey apartment complex in what had been shown in the layout approval map as 'civic amenities'. Members of the association and residents say their objections were of no avail. Complaints to the local police station, BBMP and BDA were not acted upon. Residents claim that the apartment complex is being marketed as Aastha Valmark and construction has reached 10 storeys.
As per the Karnataka Town and Country Planning (KTCP) Act, 1961, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) is the designated planning authority for new layouts (either standalone sites/homes or apartment complexes) and approvals need to be in line with the Revised Master Plan (RMP) 2015. Those who own properties in BDA-approved layouts would be aware that one of the conditions for sanction of a layout's development plan is that the roads, parks and open spaces are relinquished to BDA, as is also a portion of the total land area, towards a civic amenities (CA) site.