The Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj has issued a circular on December 28, restricting gram panchayats across the state from approving or sanctioning building/layout plans for Deputy Commissioner (DC) converted lands.
This will certainly affect many Bangaloreans living in the erstwhile Bangalore Rural district (now part of the BBMP) and areas surrounding municipal towns.
“To regulate the illegal sanction of lands and rampant flouting of layout development and property registration norms, the department has taken this initiative,” said a senior official at the RDPR.
The circular notifies that GPs across the state do not have any legal authority to sanction building plans/alteration in the panchayat limits.
It also clearly mandates all buildings should be approved by BDA, BMRDA BMICAPA, BIAPPA, or any other town municipal authority governing the area.
This has serious implications in and around Bangalore, wherein vast tracts of lands have been approved by the Panchayats and buildings and apartment have come up.
People living in Dasarhalli, Ramamurthynagar, K R Puram, Hoskote, Peenya, Tumkur road and others will be in trouble.
“There is nothing new in this circular.
We have reiterated the policy which is in existence since 1994.
It is just that people were not aware of the rules and GP members were sanctioning without any control.
They did not have any direct powers to approve,” the official said.
He did not want to be quoted fearing threats from builders and thousands of people who have invested crores of rupees for the past 20 years.
Also it states that the ZP, mandal panchayats and City Municipal Corporation have no right to sanction land for even development purpose.
These layouts cropped up in the last two decades with the city growing rapidly.
Builders started construction in revenue (agricultural) land, which comes under the jurisdiction of BMRDA and pay tax to village panchayats.
Village panchayats come under the taluk office, which in turn comes under the DC, Bangalore Urban district.
Many land owners and builders were not converting the lands, but getting approval from the panchayats and running the show.
This circular comes following the High Court’s direction to check the illegal sanction of lands and building plans.
As per the HC orders, a meeting was held on December 19, participated by CEOs of ZPs, district secretaries, executives of Taluk Panchayat and it was noticed that there were deficiencies in Form 9 and form 11 (now 1 and 12) issued by panchayats.
The circular states that no such forms shall be issued by the GPs without sanctions from the town planning authorities concerned.
“This is certainly a move to extract more money from people.
We have put in our hard earned money and the banks have verified the documents and sanctioned loans.
How can they (the government) term it as illegal or need approval from a different authority now?” asked Rajanna, a resident of R K Apartments in Ramamurthynagar.