BENGALURU: The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has recently written to the state home department asking for the upgradation of its existing Task Force to that of a police station. This is in light of a mega scam involving fraudulent sale of 120 sites in Kengeri unearthed a month ago. Speaking to The New Indian Express, BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh said, “The Task Force does not have the powers to register an FIR nor arrest anyone. We end up registering a case in the police station and subsequent investigations are carried out only by them.”
Another official said that the “toothless” nature of the existing Task Force ensured that officials inside BDA who have access to all information can indulge in unethical practices as no strong action can be initiated against them internally. By April-end, another major scam was highlighted by TNIE in which 34 sites in Arkavathy Layout were underpriced and the BDA was on the verge of losing nearly Rs 15 crore.
An FIR had been registered in connection with the Kengeri scam at Kengeri police station last month. A top official told TNIE that a total of 120 BDA sites of various dimensions were sold by agents with the connivance of BDA officials as well as middlemen over a period of eight years.
“Most of them involved BDA sites surrendered back to the Authority by allottees. Allottees handed back the sites and took alternative BDA sites in exchange as they were not happy with the sites given,” he said.
The scamsters created bogus documents for these sites with the help of BDA officials and collected sums ranging between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 60 lakh for a 30x40 sq ft site. “The allottees were even given sale deeds for the sites nearly four years ago by carrying out registrations for them. They coolly pocketed the money and shared it between them. BDA stands to lose at least Rs 60 crore,” another top official said.