To enjoy additional benefits
July 15, 2023 02:29 pm | Updated 09:07 pm IST – Bengaluru
A file photo of the newly-formed Nadaprabhu Kempegowda (NPK) Layout, between Magadi Road and Mysuru road, developed by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), in Bengaluru. After land acquisition, 2694.26 acres were handed over to the engineering department of BDA for development of the layout, in which 177 CA sites were proposed, spread over 232 acres. | Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K
Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) illegally converted 94 Civic Amenity (CA) sites and land marked for parks, spread over 64 acres, in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout (NPK) into residential plots. This will deny residents of the layout parks, playgrounds and other common amenities. 
Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister D.K. Shivakumar informed the legislative Assembly about the alleged deviation while responding to a question by former Urban Development Minister S. Suresh Kumar. 
In 2014, the Karnataka government issued notification to acquire 4043.27 acres of land for formation of NPK Layout, of 387.20 acres were earmarked for 147 CA sites. After land acquisition, 2694.26 acres were handed over to the engineering department of the BDA for development of the layout, in which 177 CA sites were proposed, spread over 232 acres. However, till date, the BDA has developed only 107 CA sites. 
Once a portion of the layout is notified as a CA site, park or playground, engineers do not have the authority to change the plan. In case of change of plan, the BDA has to separately issue a public notice.
Mr. Shivakumar revealed that 94 CA sites, spread over 64 acres, had been diverted and converted into residential plots without following the due process. He added that an investigation would be carried out to assess the loss incurred due to this illegal conversion, and errant officials will be punished. 
Former BDA chairman S.R. Vishwanath said that a probe was launched into the alleged deviation while he was at the helm. “About 30 engineers were found to be involved in the deviation. However, BDA officials seem to have misled the Minister and claimed that a probe would be launched. Actually, the probe was almost complete when I was chairman of BDA,” he said. 
Mr. Vishwanath said that, besides monetary loss to BDA, the fallout of the illegal deviation would mean BDA won’t get alternate land to provide civic amenities residents. “Due to this, children will be denied playgrounds and senior citizens will be denied parks,” he said, demanding action against errant officials. He also asked the government to find ways to fix the shortfall in CA sites. 
Suryakiran A.S., Joint Secretary, NPK Open Forum, said conversion of CA sites into residential plots would result in denial of various amenities to residents. “Every block should have parks, post offices, schools and other civic amenities. But with CA sites being converted into residential plots, some of the nine blocks would be denied these amenities, forcing them to move out of their blocks to access these amenities. The illegality will also cut down lung space, as this conversion will rob space for parks,” he said.
Bangalore / corruption & bribery
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