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Infra works could limp as BDA has just Rs 40 crore in bank

Bengaluru: A slew of housing and infrastructure projects could grind to a halt as theBangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) finances are in a precarious shape.

With just Rs 40 crore in the coffers bang in the middle of the financial year, the fund crunch is likely to affect the pace of important works, including housing projects such as the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda and Dr Shivaram Karanth layouts as well as the construction of the much-delayed Hebbal flyover loop.

The main reasons for the state of affairs are: the impasse over mobilising fresh resources from the allotment of 30,000 sites in Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout; the uncertainty surrounding the sale of over 2,500 newly built flats and the auction of intermediary as well as corner sites.

The BDA had expected to earn at least Rs 3,000 crore from these ventures.

Anticipating high revenue from various internal sources, the BDA started a number of new projects, including basic infrastructure works worth Rs 400 crore in Banashankari 6th Stage, Anjanapura and Sir M Visvesvaraya layouts, pumped over Rs 2,000 crore for Dr Shivaram Karanth Layout and infused additional funds to speed up works in Kempegowda Layout.

It also took up the construction of at least three new apartments.

Multiple sources said the BDA’s financial troubles began after bills for the above works became due for payment. However, the authority failed to meet the corresponding revenuetarget.

The change of government may have also contributed to the slow decision-making as the BDA is yet to take some crucial steps, according to sources.  

In mid-September, the Supreme Court-monitored Justice A V Chandrashekar Committee allowed the BDA to start allotting sites to land losers and the public in Karanth Layout but the authority has yet to act. 

There has also been a long break in the sale of flats in BDA projects despite having a huge inventory. 

On the bright side, the BDA notified the auction of 123 sites but the decision came after a long gap of about six months. 

Officials said the BDA was looking at multiple avenues to earn revenues. One of them is to pursue cases that are under litigation and take the custody of land. It believes that a lot of its developed sites are vacant due to frivolous charges. 

When asked for a reaction, N Jayaram, BDA Commissioner, said, "We are identifying properties that are stuck in courts. There are over 6,000 such sites in the core area. If we win the cases, the auctioning of these sites will be sufficient to tide over the crisis. We are also surveying properties that are encroached."

Surya Kiran, a member of the Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Layout Open Forum, hoped the BDA would set its finances in order so that long-pending projects are completed with a sense of urgency. 

"Some allottees have built the houses but are unable to connect the sewage to the underground drainage (UGD). There is no water supply or electricity connection. There is some work happening on the major arterial road but we have already waited too long for this project to get over,” he said. 

(Published 12 November 2023, 22:55 IST)

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