Home and LandEven during the high-voltage political drama, the men-in-power took time off to denotify a whopping 170-odd acres of land worth hundreds of crores in the city in less than 10 days.

The speed and the manner with which the notified lands for various developmental projects by the BDA were excluded from the acquisition raises suspicion of kick-backs, sources said.

What does denotification mean? The government agencies acquire private lands for development purposes. However, there are provisions to release the land to the owners under extrordinary circumstances. But many a time this provision is misused by the moneyed and the influencial to get their lands released.

Over the last 10 days, the government, as per H D Kumaraswamy’s orders, has denotified 170-odd acres of land in and around Bangalore. These were patches of land notified primarily for the formation of layouts and construction of roads.

Documents of 35 such denotification orders available with The Times of India show that majority of the land exclusions have been done in the jinxed Arkavathy Layout. This means the already land-starved layout will have that much less land for sites. As it is, the promised number of 20,000 sites could not be allotted as the lands were under litigation.

The land denotification orders were passed between September 27 and October 6 by the urban development department. According to sources, the "exchange of money" in all these land deals ranges from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 1 crore per acre depending on the location.

The rush also saw land in old layouts being denotified. For instance, in Koramangala layout, where notification was done in 1972, Rajamahal Vilas extension II stage layout notified in 1977, Nagarabhavi layout II stage, which was notified in 1986, the hi-tech city and stretch between Sarjapura Road and Hosur Road, approved in 2005.

As for Jnanabharathi Layout, which was notified in 1994 and developed by BDA, 7 acres and 6 guntas of land were denotified on October 1. These lands have been shown as “dry garden’’ in the classification. In the Banashankari V stage layout formed by BDA in 1994, 6 acres and 12 guntas falling under the category wet garden were denotified on September 27.
Source: Times Of India, 11th October, 2007