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BDA flats as Covid care centres? Protests get loud

Authority fears it may affect future sales

Published: 30th June 2020 07:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th June 2020 07:02 AM   |  A+A-

Apartment

For representational purposes. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar’s announcement on Saturday that the government would be using unsold flats of the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) as Covid care centres has come as a jolt to the authority. Official data of BDA flats built since 2013 shows that 2,283 of 10,075 flats in the BDA’s possession remain unsold. The sale of flats built in the last 3 years, which was going on slowly, took a beating due to Covid-19. Unsold flats are spread across Kanminike, Kommaghatta, Malagala, Valagerahalli and Doddabanahalli.

Sudhakar told TNIE, “We are looking at keeping only mild and asymptomatic patients in flats of BDA, the Housing Board and other organisations for quarantine. We want to use the flats only for two to three months. By November, we expect the severity of the virus to subside.”Asked about the move creating stigma for future sale of flats, he said this kind of mindset needs to be done away with.

Meanwhile, those living in BDA flats are appalled by the suggestion. They pointed out that the BDA’s inventory was spread across multi-storeyed residential complexes, and entire blocks never remain unsold. “At least 12% of our flats are occupied. Families already living in some flats. One flat would be bought while the next would be empty. How will they agree to this kind of move?” he said.

The move would deliver a big blow to future sale of flats, said another official. “How can we sell a flat to a prospective buyer saying it is new, if people have already lived there for some time? The fact that those with corona symptoms lived there would create further problems,” he said.  Only at Kanminike and Kommaghatta are entire blocks left unsold. “They are far from the city and have only temporary power connection and borewell water. If large number of people need to be be accommodated, power usage would be high and drinking water arrangements need to be put in place,” another official said.BDA Commissioner H R Mahadev, said, “There has been a proposal by the minister” but did not elaborate further.

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