Close all industries around Bellandur Lake, orders NGT

The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in New Delhi ordered on Wednesday that all industries in the vicinity of Bellandur Lake be shut down immediately , and set a one-month deadline to the authorities to clean up the polluted waterbody .“No industry will be permitted to operate unless allowed by a joint inspection team, which may seal the industries with help of police and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board,“ the tribunal said, while passing a set of interim directives to arrest the decay in the lake.

Bengaluru’s largest lake is so polluted that foam and fire breakouts are common, making global headlines.

Directing all local authorities to ensure that no untreated sewage enters the lake, the tribunal said: “No waste -municipal solid, domestic and CMD -shall be dumped into the lake or in the buffer zone (prescribed by NGT) around the lake. If anybody is found polluting or dumping, an environmental compensation charge of Rs 5 lakh per event to be imposed.“

The NGT has made the chief executive officer of Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority , the commissioner of Bangalore Development Authority and the Urban Development Department personally responsible for implementation of its directives. It may be noted that the tribunal has been hearing the matter since February 20, when it took suo motu note of the large fire in the lake earlier in the month.

The tribunal set a onemonth deadline for constituting a committee of senior officials of the BDA, KLCDA and UDD (not below the rank of additional secretary) to en sure one-time cleaning of entire Bellandur Lake by desilting, removing waste and surface cleaning, including removal of chemicals. The committee has been told to in duct any special agency needed to execute this task. The NGT further said that the Karnataka government would be entitled to invoke the `polluter pays’ princi ple and direct developers to bear costs for transfer of sewage. It asked the state of Karnataka to place before it, within two weeks, an action plan to completely prevent and control pollution in the lake.

The tribunal said it would give further directives after submission of the action plan and adjourned the matter to May 18.

Courtesy by Times Of India.

Rising inventory, quality issues force BDA to stop building new apartments

 Plans To Focus On Building Homes For Low-Income Group

Stuck with rising inventory, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has decided to stop constructing new apartments and is considering renting out empty ones in different parts of the city .“We have decided not to build any new high-end apartments. Our focus will be to clear the inventory and build houses for the economically weaker sections and the lowincome group,” said BDA commissioner Rakesh Singh.

The BDA will continue to develop sites but not under the public-private partnership model.“We’re working on developing sites by tying up with credible developers,“ he added. Singh said all these issues will be discussed at the board meeting this week. The BDA also plans to improve various facilities in existing apartments. “If we still can’t sell them, we’ll look at giving unsold apartments on rent to ensure they don’t turn into white elephants,” he said. BDA officials said the authority is trying to find buyers for 1,065 flats especially those in the suburbs. There are no takers for BDA flats because of high cost and poor amenities. The BDA was formed to provide affordable and quality housing. That mandate, under strain for many years, now lies buried with rising land cost -a 2-BHK BDA flat costs between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 50 lakh.

“It’s not possible for the authority to undervalue its property . People are not willing to show the exact price as they fear huge taxes.Apart from the cost of building, buyers will have to pay service charge, registration fees and also furnish income-tax details. These requirements make BDA properties less attractive,“ said a senior official who handles sales of BDA apartments.

A home buyer maintains that middle income group flats are overpriced. “The BDA is acting like a private developer. The price of low-income group apartment is between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 13 lakh and buyers struggle to pay a lump sum,” said Shiva Kumar, a RTI activist.

There have been complaints about quality of work. “Fixtures and fittings are sub-standard, forcing people to replace them at their cost,“ said an allottee.

courtesy by Times of India

No money, 230 allottees give up `pricey’ BDA sites

here’s many a slip between the cup and the lip. Sreedhar Nuggehal’s 30year efforts to get a BDA site bore fruit late last year, but the plot had become complicated. As raising money to pay for the site is near impossible, the 61-year-old retired employee is mulling over surrendering the plot allotted to him in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout.

He’ll soon join around over 200 allottees who have already surrendered their sites in what’s perhaps an unpleasant first. A top BDA official confirmed that at least 230 allottees have given up their sites because they couldn’t raise money .

Sreedhar’s despair is understandable as it was the dream over two generations.His father attempted to get a BDA site and after he passed away , his registration was transferred to his son’s name. Sreedhar began applying for a site in 1986. “I was allotted the site in my seventh attempt. By then, I had retired. I don’t get pension and my son is floating a startup. First, we requested the BDA to extend the time for final payment. But after the 60-day extension, I still have no resources.Banks are denying me loans to buy the site,“ he says.

HS Sridhar Murthy , 69, has a similar story . He began applying for a BDA site in 1985 and got it in his seventh attempt. “I live on my daughter’s earnings. She is married and takes care of my household expenses. Banks have denied me loans as they would assess me as a person who cannot repay the loan and can’t present a collateral security against the loan. I have no option left but to surrender my site,“ he said. Both senior citizens don’t own a house.

BDA allotted 5,000 sites in Kempegowda Layout in December 2016 and gave allottees 60 days to pay for the site.

However, post demonetization, allottees had to drop plans of cash transactions.Heeding their request for more time, BDA gave another 60 days. The deadline now is around April 30, depending on the date of allotment.

300 sites returned

Bengaluru: The allottees, who accessed information from officials involved in allotment, said around 300 sites have been returned, and more may follow.

Another official in the finance department said the authority has collected only Rs 250 crore as payment. The target is Rs 1,750 crore for 5,000 sites.

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