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Thread: Shankarlinge Gowda has tough task at BDA, more irregularities surfacing

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    Shankarlinge Gowda has tough task at BDA, more irregularities surfacing


    Bangalore:Heads continue to roll at the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). The new Commissioner of M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda, takes charge at a time when the expectations of the people have taken a new dimension. Sources in the department of personnel and administrative reforms (DPAR) said the multi-crore alternative sites scam was the main reason for the transfer.

    Meanwhile More irregularities are surfacing at the BDA. The government was alerted by a series of articles in the media exposing the multi-crore fraud involving the exchange of expensive sites for cheap ones. Chief secretary Sudhakar Rao had said the government would take stern action and was awaiting an inquiry report.

    In the light of the deteriorating infrastructure, the task of the BDA is no longer limited to forming new residential layouts and distributing sites. It now handles infrastructure development in the city.

    Mr. Shankaralinge Gowda takes charge from M.N. Vidyashankar during whose tenure transparency was introduced in the functioning of the authority.

    The new commissioner, who was the Secretary to the then Chief Minister S.M. Krishna, has a tough assignment on hand as Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy would be personally reviewing his work.

    The BDA’s preliminary inquiry says all 122 alternative sites, details of which had been sought by an RTI activist, had been allotted fraudulently.

    Once the government was convinced about the large-scale irregularities, it eased secretary G C Rajashekar, who had managed to stall his transfer, from his post.

    He has not been shown a new position. Governor Rameswar Thakur had reportedly summoned Shankarlinge Gowda twice to take stock of the situation.

    Shankarlinge Gowda told, “I am a government servant. I am prepared to go anywhere according to the government’s wish. I have worked in remote corners of the state, and transfers are not new to me.”

    A new case

    More irregularities are surfacing at the BDA. On Thursday, an alternative site (1090/D) measuring 50 by 80 ft in HSR 2nd Sector was allotted in exchange for a residential site in RMV Extension II Phase.

    The alternative site is classified as a commercial plot, and rules say it can only be sold through a public auction.

    A series of high value commercial sites in the row (1090/A to 1090/M) have been allotted to people close to politicians.
    As reported by B V Shiva Shankar on MyNews.in: Every Citizen Portal,India,World,Developement,Business,Politics News,Live Chat on 16 March 2008:
    Shankarlinge Gowda has tough task at BDA, more irregularities surfacing*INDIA*NEWS MyNews.in:



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    Allotment of alternative sites against rules to be cancelled


    As reported by Special Correspondent in hindu.com on 5 August 2008:
    The Hindu : Front Page : Allotment of alternative sites against rules to be cancelled

    Allotment of alternative sites against rules to be cancelled

    Opposition says BDA officials are involved in the scandal


    Bangalore: The State Government in a spontaneous reply to what could be described as a scam in the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), agreed to cancel allotment of all the alternative residential sites allotted by the authority in violation of rules and regulations.

    Equipped with documents of several such transactions, some members of the Opposition in the Legislative Council exhibited how the BDA had made over commercial sites in prime localities in exchange for residential sites allotted in faraway places in relatively new layouts developed by the authority.

    The alternative site scandal, which has been rocking the Bangalore Development Authority for the last few months, on Monday figured in the Upper House with several senior Opposition members, including M.P. Nadagouda and B.A. Marthibbe Gowda, exhibiting documents on the grant of alternative sites and the quick sale of such sites. It was also mentioned that nearly 800 such alternative sites had been provided by the BDA in a limited period of time and most of such sites had been sold at very fancy prices. Sites which were made over to the allottees for a low price of Rs. 250 a square foot were sold for sums ranging between Rs 4,000 and Rs 13,000 a square foot.

    Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa provided details on the manner in which the alternative sites had been allotted and the investigations by the authorities so far. The Chief Ministers reply to the discussion was provided by Minister for Home V.S. Acharya.

    The persistent demand by the Opposition to constitute a committee of members of the Legislative Council to investigate the ramifications of the scandal and also suggest ways and means of preventing such a scam in the future was, however, turned down by the Government. It was stated that the investigations would be completed in three months and the details provided to the members of the Opposition.

    Dr. Acharya said the Superintendent of Police of a Special Task Force functioning in the BDA was investigating the whole gamut of such allotments, and wherever malpractices were detected, the Government would cancel all such allotments. The alternative site scandal surfaced after a member of the public, B.M. Shivakumar, sought details of such allotments between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2008 under the Right to Information Act. He had thereafter written to the Government seeking stern action against those involved in the racket.

    He said the investigation by the BDA police had so far covered 171 such allotments and of them six were found to be in violation of the rules. Further, five corner sites had also been made to certain applicants seeking a change of site in violation of the rules. The officials concerned had divided the corner sites and thereafter allotted them as intermediate sites. Under the BDA rules, all corner sites have to be sold through public auction and this has been the rule for several decades although some changes have been made from time to time .

    In his reply, Mr Yeddyurappa said the alternative site committee at the BDA is headed by the Commissioner of the BDA and includes five other members, all of them subordinate officials. Between January 2006 and January 2008, the alternative site committee met seven times. Of the 1043 applications that were received, the committee approved alternative sites in 658 cases.

    The Opposition members categorically stated that a large section of the BDA officials of various ranks were involved in the scandal.



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