Owners of property with ‘B’ khatas can rejoice in the fact that the Karnataka government is working on a scheme to regularise these properties which come under corporation limits. To this effect, the government plans to make necessary amendments to the Karnataka Land Revenue Act, 1964.
The decision will make it possible for the property owners to obtain an ‘A’ khata by paying improvement and conversion fee. The value of these properties is likely to double as they will become legitimate. Owners will also be eligible to obtain bank loans.
“The ‘A’ khata will help property owners obtain bank loans, building plans and occupation certificates,” said BBMP commissioner Manjunath Prasad, who has officially submitted a proposal to the government. “It will facilitate lawful and systematic development of layouts.”
Deputy chief minister G Parameshwara, also Bengaluru development minister, is impressed with the proposal and may soon place it before the cabinet, sources said. If the amendment goes through, then the move will also be a revenue spinner for the cash-starved BBMP as it is expected to earn at least Rs 1,000 cr.
The civic agency is expected to use a part of the betterment and conversion fee which it plans to collect to provide civic amenities like roads, drains and sanitation. “In many areas, we have already provided basic amenities and they are as good as BDA layouts,” Prasad said. “We just need to regularize them by collecting necessary fee.”
The BBMP’s proposal is also aimed at checking revenue leaks. Sources claim BBMP revenue officers were taking bribes and giving ‘A’ khatas to select owners of ‘B’ khata sites.
There is a rider, though. The proposal states building owners “who have violated building bylaw norms and don’t have a ‘B’ Khata will not be regularized through improvement charges”. Such buildings will have to wait for the implementation of the Akrama-Sakrama scheme. “It could be a plot or a building, but ‘B’ khata is a must,” Prasad said.
There are about 3 lakh illegal properties in Bengaluru city of which Prasad estimates about 1 lakh properties are registered under ‘B’ khata. Most of these properties fall in layouts formed in areas — including 110 villages — that came under BBMP’s jurisdiction a decade ago. A senior revenue department official said amendments to the Revenue Act are necessary because a majority of the 110 villages are still paying dual tax. After conversion of agriculture land to non-agricultural purposes, if the land falls under BBMP limits, then the property owner of the vacant land will have to obtain a khata from BBMP and pay tax. But many residents in these areas are still paying the old land revenue tax.
The BJP government in 2010 had mooted the controversial Akrama-Sakrama scheme to regularize all illegal properties in Bengaluru. But the scheme is pending before the Supreme Court.
“Regularizing revenue sites individually will lead to duplication of khatas and similar misuse. It is a welcome step by the government to amend the Karnataka Revenue Act and to regularise all sites in a systematic manner,” CH Ashwathnarayan Gowda, Malleswaram MLA, pointed out.