CAG: BDA overlooked change of land-use plan by developer
The CAG statement comes in the backdrop of BDA’s lapses in sanctioning building plans for Prestige Augusta Golf Village project in Vaderahalli village, east Bengaluru, which involves development of 460 luxury villas and twin houses spread over 104 acres designed around a nine-hole golf course. In its second instalment on the general and social sectors, the CAG report said the project, initiated in 2013, is facing demolition owing to the BDA’s failure to consider the general power of attorney (GPA) before sanctioning the detailed building plan that resulted in deviation from the approved development plan.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has slammed the Bangalore Development Authority for its failure to monitor compliance with building bylaws, especially involving large projects, and said it has resulted in the exploitation of unwary buyers. The audit report placed in the assembly on Monday said the BDA must continuously ensure bylaws are followed. “Failure to do so may result in severe losses to the buyers since BDA may subsequently deny occupancy certificates or demolish the building as those would be illegal structures,” it added.
According to the report, the BDA, in December 2016, issued notice to Prestige Developers seeking reasons for contravening the scope of the development plan approved by the authority. Since the reply was unsatisfactory, it directed the builder to stop work and remove the structure constructed while recallig the sanctioned plan. By then, the developer had developed, ad vertised and sold some residential units in the agricultural land zone to prospective owners violating the norms stipulated in the zoning regulations of the Revised Master Plan 2015 for Bengaluru. As per the regulations, if the land is more than 40 hectares, golf course along with ancillary units like administrative office, guest rooms guest houses and dining facilities may be permitted for housing the staff of government, semi-government, public and private limited for short duration.
The back story
In 2012, owners of Survey Nos 27 to 42 and 56 of Vaderahalli village applied for conversion of land use from agricultural to nonagricultural for the development of golf course and ancillary units. The then deputy commissioner, Bengaluru Rural district, gave the approval on the condition that the land would be used for the intended purpose and construction would be undertaken after obtaining approval from zonal development authorities.
The owners applied to the BDA for sanction of non-residential development plan and it was approved on January 21, 2013 for a golf course and ancillary units. The report said that BDA issued the work order on June 28, 2013 after the land owner entered into a development agreement with Prestige Developers to develop the property and for its sale after executing a GPA in favour of the developer , empowering him to sell, lease, mortgage, exchange or otherwise 67% divided and or undivided share in the land.
“The GPA was submitted along with other docu ments to BDA prior to seeking sanction for the detailed building plan. Despite possessing the GPA, which altered the scope of the development plan sanctioned, BDA sanctioned the detailed building plan for construction of golf course with 460 guest houses on remittance of prescribed fees and charges,” the report said.