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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8379

Bengaluru, Pune drive real estate growth in India

Ahmedabad and Hyderabad posted highest increase in previous eight quarterly sales.
Signalling a revival in India’s sluggish residential realty market, the residential sales in India’s top nine cities increased by 8 per cent during the April-June quarter of this financial year as compared to a 3 per cent drop reported during the last quarter of FY16.
The surge in sales volume was primarily driven by Bengaluru, Pune and Mumbai, which together accounted for 61 per cent of the total sales across the top-9 cities in Q1 FY17.
According to Prop Tiger, sales across top-9 Indian cities increased from 51,500 units in Q4 FY16 to 55,550 units in Q1 FY17. Cities like Ahmedabad and Hyderabad reported their highest quarterly sales in the past 8 quarters.
There was also a price increase in these cities with Hyderabad witnessing the highest annual price appreciation of 8 per cent. The quarter also saw a reversal of sales trends in northern cities like Gurgaon and Noida. Both the cities made a strong comeback with Noida reporting its highest sales in four quarters and Gurgaon recording the highest sales in the last seven quarters.
The government’s policies and schemes to boost affordable housing seem to be giving results now. The new launches also went up by 14 per cent in Q1FY17 to 41,000 units compared to 36,000 units in the previous quarter. According to Prop Tiger could be attributed to the recent sops offered by the government for development of affordable housing as more than 50 per cent of total launches were witnessed in the affordable segments. “The first quarter of FY17 has started on a positive note for residential markets with rise in sales by 8 per cent. “Fence-sitting end users are beginning to enter the market with cities such as Ahmedabad and Hyderabad showing positive growth. With 14 per cent growth in new launches across top cities, the worst seems to be behind us,” said Dhruv Agarwala.

Source: Asianage
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8404

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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8411

‘BBMP issued us khata. How can our house suddenly become illegal?’

For more than half an hour, a 30-year-old pregnant woman refused to come out of her first-floor home even as earthmovers positioned themselves to pull down portions of the structure.

Shilpa Pawar’s house had been slated for demolition as it was built on a storm-water drain at Nyanappanahalli, near Kodichikkanahalli. She, however, refused to relent even as houses on the line were being pulled down. “We have done no wrong. This is the same BBMP that cleared all papers and gave us ‘A’ khata. How can our house suddenly become illegal? We are literally on the streets,” she said.

Her family and neighbours attempted to convince her to come out — for it was a lost cause. Minutes after she hesitantly made her way out, BBMP workers pulled down the staircase and other parts of the building.

The narrow lane resembled a battleground as the civic body continued with its drive to demolish parts of eight buildings to reclaim 2.4 metre space.

Prakash, a bank manager, arrived in time from Chennai to see his house being razed to the ground. “I had rented out the property and since the tenants were also not in town, most of their household goods have been damaged,” he said.

Similarly, Kasavanahalli saw the demolition of four villas, including one that had just been constructed, within Shubh Enclave.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) has now registered three cases against the developers of private layouts, Avani and Shubh enclaves, and Janvi apartment in these areas. The civic body, whose officials have been at the receiving end of anger of the affected residents, seems to have turned more belligerent in its drive.

BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad said owners would have to “voluntarily” give up their houses else face criminal action. “If we demolish these properties, we will ensure we recover the cost of the demolition from the property owners,” he said.

The BBMP will take up encroachment clearing drive on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with the next one scheduled for August 9.

Source: The Hindu
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8412

Cries against bribes ring at BDA grievances meet

THE marathon BDA grievances meeting turned out be a litany of complaints against the staff of its Vijayanagar branch with residents alleging that officials either openly demanded bribe to do their duty or made subtle references to it. Residents alleged bribe was being asked of them during assessment of property tax and when BDA provides details on the allotment of alternative sites by BDA.

Residents of Sir M Visvesvarayanagar BDA Layout, 8th Block, Residents’ Welfare Association, said they have not been able to pay property tax to the BDA for a long time now as the assessment of tax was not being spelt out to them by the Revenue staff of the Vijayanagar office. “The bribe being demanded to assess the property is much higher than the property tax we need to pay,” they alleged.

A petition was also submitted by the Association to the BDA Commissioner Rajkumar Khatri in this connection.

Mahesh V R, who spoke on behalf of a few residents, alleged, “The annual property tax comes to `2,780.66 for a 2BHK house. To give us an assessment of how much one needs to pay, they demand a fine of `5,000.”

Another resident, requesting anonymity, said, “BDA says its coffers are empty. All of us in the 8th Block are willing to pay the property tax but the officers in Vijayanagar do not allow us to pay it.” Residents of Valagerahalli too alleged the BDA officials were demanding bribe. “About 150 site owners are yet to pay the property tax but they do not care,” a resident said.

Chandra Babu Mahendra, said that his 30x40 site in Giddadakonehalli was acquired by the BDA in 2003. “I was allotted an alternative site by the allotment committee in December 2010 in Visvesvariah IIIrd Block,” he said. The site cannot be registered in my name unless the Comprehensive Dimension (CD) Report is sent by the BDA Vijayanagar (West) office to the head office. “It has been six years and I am still requesting the West office to send the report,” he said.

He accused Assistant Executive Engineer M S Shankaramurthy of deliberately delaying the process. When asked to respond to the charges, Shankaramurthy told Express, “I have not taken any bribe.”

A 75-year-old woman, Namagiri R, got emotional as she pleaded with officials that the 30x40 alternative site allotted to her in 2010 in Visweswaraya Layout be handed to her. “I repeatedly visited the BDA head office and the local office but no one pays a heed to me,” she said.

Khatri ordered the officer to visit the site allotted to her the same afternoon and submit a report to him by 1 pm on Sunday.

However, amid all the brickbats the BDA was receiving, people were appreciative of BDA Commissioner Rajkumar Khatri’s move to hold a grievances meet in their area and redress the grievances on the spot.

Source: NewIndianExpress
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8447

Bengaluru civic body blocks Intel's gate with garbage trucks, seeking property tax dues

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) has reportedly given a clear warning to IT giant Intel Technology India Pvt Ltd as part of its special drive to collect due property tax from big commercial companies that default on paying taxes.

According to a report by India Today, the BBMP has come up with a very unique method to extract the dues. It has decided to teach the employees of the IT company to love a stinky office if the IT giant fails to pay its taxes.

The Intel employees were greeted by a pile of garbage when they reached their office. The BBMP officials had blocked the gates of the firm’s premises in Belandur with trucks filled with garbage, the India Today report added.

The Hindu quoted sources as saying that some officials even threatened to dump the garbage inside the office if the company did not pay up property tax dues to the civic body.

The standing committee on taxation and finance found that Intel had defaulted tax payment between 2007 and 2008 of around Rs 34 crore. Intel challenged this in court. However, after valid documentation, the BBMP managed to convince the court how Intel defaulted, according to reports.

Intel ignored several court warnings to pay half of the due amount by 25 July. India Today quoted the Joint Commissioner of the Mahadevapura zone, BBMP, Muniveerappa as saying that the company had been calculating its taxes on the basis that it was not an air conditioned office, but the reality was that it was centrally air conditioned.

He also said that after Intel authorities gave a written undertaking that they would pay half of the dues by 28 August, the garbage trucks were removed from the office gate.

Apart from BBMP, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) too has come up with innovative ways to make defaulters pay their dues.

According to its recent notice, the BMC will now seize movable property such as computers, furniture, sofas, televisions, refrigerators, air-conditioners and other valuables if they don’t pay up by the due date, reported The Indian Express. It also plans on sealing the lifts, building material and entrance of the building to restrict its usage to recover the property tax due on land, according to the policy.

Source: Firstpost
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8450

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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8455

Bengaluru demolition drive: A lesson for how to govern land in India

The latest demolition drive in the city is razing even half-a-century-old buildings. And, this might be the result of the way land is governed in India, according to urban experts.

The drive started last Saturday when almost 100 buildings, including houses, hotels and shops, were razed.

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanara Palike, or BBMP, the city’s civic body, attributed the demolition to clear encroachments from what used to be known as Rajakaluve, or more commonly referred to as storm water drains from a neighbourhood lake.

Rajakaluves are more than storm water drains, and their importance dates back to the city’s pre-modern era.

The Deccan plateau, where Bengaluru is located, is known to be water-deprived. In the absence of a river running through it, its rulers—starting from the 9th century to the Britishers—depended on man-made water reservoirs (lakes or tanks) for irrigation and domestic uses.

Rajakaluves, said Rohan D’Souza, a researcher formerly with the city’s National Institute of Advanced Study, were the canals through which these tanks were interconnected to ensure steady supply.

Bangalore has 800 kilometres of storm water drains and another 1,500km of secondary drains, according to BBMP data. This isn’t the first time the civic body has taken action against encroachments on Rajakaluves.

Over the last two years, some 1,923 encroachments were found on land that formerly had Rajakaluves. Some 822 have been cleared so far, and 1,101 still remain, according to the civic body’s data.

What’s caused the present mess?

Mostly, it is a problem of a multiplicity of agencies and also how land sales are recorded. According to V. Ravichandar, who was part of a government-appointed committee that recommended the trifurcation of the BBMP, the problems started when the villages were subsumed into Bangalore.

The result: old village maps, which showed drains in villages, were disregarded.

“People are confusing Khata with certificate of everything being kosher,” Ravichandar said. But the Khata was merely a sale deed witnessing a transaction. “”The plot owners are taking the Khata as a security blanket. The problem is the Katha is disassociated with the earlier survey and village map information.”

A BBMP official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the civic body alone could not be blamed for the mess as there are other authorities such as Bangalore Development Authority, Bangalore Metropolitan Region Development Authority, the state revenue department and survey department are equally responsible.

In many cases, landlords and builders make fake documents and submit it to the registrar. It’s impossible to check whether all properties that apply for the Khata fall on any storm water drain or any other such violations, he added.

A short-sighted move?

Is demolition the ideal solution to the problem? Some urban planners disagree, at least in the way it is being carried out. “I’m not sure whether large-scale demolition is an ideal solution,” said Rejeet Mathews, who works on urban development and planning at World Resource Institute.

“It’s only in the recent years that Bengaluru started to make strategies for development by creating a masterplan,” she said.

What’s the solution?

If the civic body is not too keen to convert the land parcels into its original setting, it could apply some retrofitting techniques like asking people to pay up fines to set the record straight and allow them to live in that area, said Mathews.

But if they are too keen on the restoration of storm water drains as it was, the measures need to be well thought out before execution, she added.

“Someone who owns that land for generations needs to be compensated. But compensation is a huge problem since land is very expensive. There are projects like PRR [Peripheral Ring Road] that are stuck for more than a decade because of this [non-purchase of land],” she said.

Ideally, such restoration should be reserved for the environmentally-sensitive areas in the city’s peripheries, said Mathews.

Besides, what’s the upshot of such demolition drives?

“Slums are known to proliferate in environmentally-sensitive areas or less-claimed lands ... so in general, the poor population will be the first to get hit,” she added.

Source: Livemint.com
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 2 months ago #8470

BBMP checks no village maps or master plan, while sanctioning plans

Early August, house owners in some neighbourhoods of Bengaluru woke up to find they may soon not have a roof over their heads. They were gripped by panic. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had initiated the drive against storm water drain (SWD) encroachers.

On the first day of the drive, buildings were demolished in more than 32 locations in Bommanahalli, Mahadevapura and Yelahanka zones. Emotions ran high at the demolition sites. House owners were seen pleading the BBMP officials to grant them extra time to vacate, while some of them even got into an argument.

It was a disturbing sight where the houses built with hard-earned money were razed to the ground. Pradeep Rao, a tea vendor who built a modest house at Avani Sringeri near Kodichikkanahalli 15 years ago, was devastated to witness his house demolished right before his eyes.

On the same day, at Shubh Enclave - a plush layout on Haraluru road, the BBMP demolished around 10 structures that were allegedly built on storm water drains. Shubh Enclave is located in an area between Kasavanahalli and Kaikondarahalli lake and is built on primary and tertiary storm water drains, according to BBMP officials.

In almost all the SWD encroachment demolition cases that have taken place in last few days, a pertinent question that some residents have been asking is - how can the BBMP demolish structures when the authorities have issued us the Khata, plan sanction for the projects, and even nationalised banks have sanctioned loans?

All documents perfectly in place

Take the case of Pradeep Rao at Avani Sringeri Layout or that of Mahendra Kumar at Shubh Enclave. Both of them, like many other residents who have lost their property during the demolition drive, claim to have obtained A Khata from the BBMP, plan sanction from the BDA and city corporation and have got the loans sanctioned from nationalised banks.

“When we built this house we had no idea that it was built on a rajakaluve. We have the building plan sanction, A Khata and an Andhra Bank loan of Rs 4 lakh. BBMP officials and staff used to come to survey the SWD in last few years. But they would assure that SWD doesn’t pass through our property, hence we didn’t bother much,” Pradeep says.

However, in the case of Shubh Enclave, though the residents had obtained necessary permission from the authorities, some of them bought the property with the full knowledge of the storm water drain flowing through the plot. According to some of the residents of Shubh Enclave Citizen Matters spoke to, the BBMP initiated the survey of encroached rajakaluve at Shubh Enclave in 2010.

“A few house owners brought a stay from the High Court and every time when the BBMP would do the survey and come with bulldozers, the house owners used to produce the stay order. I don’t know if the residents who bought property before 2010 knew about Rajakaluve encroachment or not. But those who bought it after 2010 when the BBMP began the survey and marked the encroached area, certainly knew about the issue, yet turned a blind eye,” says a source who did not wish to be named.
In fact, a local NGO Mahadevapura Parisara Samrakshane Mattu Abhivruddhi Samiti (MAPSAS) had taken the issue of missing storm water drain between Kaikondarahalli and Kasavanahalli lakes, to the Upa Lokayukta.

A house in Shubh Enclave which belonged to Michael Ruthnaswamy till few months ago, was demolished during the recent encroachment clearance drive. Michael is lucky, for he sold the property to a builder last year and shifted to HSR Layout. He says he knew that trouble was in the offing ever since the BBMP began surveying the property in 2010.

“I moved to the High Court and brought a stay order and prevented BBMP from demolishing the house. Last year a builder came forward to buy my property. He bought it with full knowledge of the storm water drain issue. He insisted that I vacate the court stay and he would handle the issue. So I got the stay vacated before selling the property,” he says.

So what gave the builder the confidence to buy the property fully aware of the consequences? The answer is an open secret.

How did people get documents in place?

Despite the encroachment, the house owners in most of the cases have succeeded to get the documents for their property and house. Then why and how did things go wrong?

A resident of Kaikondarahalli area and Founding Trustee of MAPSAS, Priya Ramasubban says when she had planned to a buy a plot near Kaikondarahalli Lake back in 2002, agents and lawyers dealing with land knew of sites that had issues.

“I was told that bribes could facilitate the rectifying of records. Sometimes buyers pay bribes as the properties come cheaper or they like the location and they believe that they can get away with it. Of course, not everyone does this and there are cases where buyers are duped by the developers/builders but there are incidences where buyers work directly in conjunction with corrupt officials as well."

An officer from BBMP too made a similar point. Speaking to Citizen Matters, a BBMP Assistant Executive Engineer said that plan sanctions and Khatas obtained by house owners could be fake. “Residents or the developers must have bribed the officials to get things done,” he says.

He gives his own example of buying a property in Bengaluru. “I know quite well that half the properties in Bengaluru are mired in controversies. So before buying a site, I checked almost 50 properties and all of them had one or the other problem with documents,” he points out.

If that is one part of the issue, loopholes in the law have enabled people to buy a property and construct a house without really bothering much about storm water drains. An officer from the Revenue Department on the condition of anonymity said that if one has to buy a property in Bengaluru, the person would approach the BDA to get the plot sanctioned. BDA will sanction the plot or layout based on the Master Plan. Now, whether the land is part of storm water drain or not depends on how Master Plan has been mapped. The Master Plan mapping is way different from the village map (that has SWD lines), hence there are greater chances of the SWD not appearing on the Master Plan.

Village maps not referred during plan sanctions

The flaw lies in the BBMP not cross-verifying the village map to identify whether a storm water drain runs through the property, while sanctioning the house plan or while issuing Khatas. In one document uploaded on the BBMP website, BBMP says the list of documents needed for plan sanction includes land conversion copy, change of land use document, revenue sketch, title deed etc. An FAQ uploaded on the same BBMP website, however, doesn’t mention these documents.

Revenue sketch (tippani) is the document issued by the Survey department. Tippani shows sketch of the land based on the records of the Survey department. If at all BBMP had really insisted for producing revenue sketch during building plan sanction, it would have helped the corporation to figure out encroachment. Because, the revenue sketch reflects the forest, nala, buffer etc. But the BBMP doesn’t insist on this while sanctioning plans, says a BBMP official, on condition of anonymity.

Thus, neither the village maps done in 1900s or 1960s, nor the BDA RMP is taken into consideration while sanctioning plans. BDA’s RMP maps and bylaws etc have been shared extensively on the BBMP website, but there does not seem to be a mechanism to ensure mandatory submission of the documents or proper spot inspection.

Priya says that a responsible government must hold itself accountable first. “The sanctity of the sanctions its officers give should be paramount. The individual and the institution must be held accountable for recklessly giving sanctions without regards to the laws of the land."

Things seem to be murkier as one digs deeper into the issue of rajakaluve encroachments in Bengaluru. While officials, developers and buyers are largely blamed for their role in the encroachment mess, there are certain technical flaws in the system which has over the years enabled encroachment of SWD across the city.

Source: Bangalore.citizenmatters.com
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Bangalore real estate news 1 year 1 month ago #8476

Revenue authorities who handed put khata come under scanner.

The ongoing government probe against officials from the BBMP and BDA for allowing encroachments on drains is expanding in its scope. While the first set of 20 babus against whom Bangalore Metropolitan Task Force (BMTF) has initiated criminal proceedings is mostly from the engineering and town planning divisions of BBMP, the focus is now on the revenue wing. Inquiries and verification of documents has begun to trap the officials involved.
A source in the government said the role of revenue officers and assistant revenue officers is crucial in allowing encroachments. Citizens whose houses and other establishments have been demolished for encroaching drains, claimed they had valid khatas from the BBMP. "Revenue officials have validated the properties, despite knowing the fact that the constructions were coming up on drains," he added.

The source said many encroachers had managed to get A Khatas, which are the ultimate proof of legitimacy of ownership. "It shows officials from the revenue wing have not verified the credentials of the sale deeds and other documents, or are hand-in-glove with realtors in return for bribes," he added.
Asked when the civic body is sending the next list of officials to be probed, to the team led by additional chief secretary (urban department) Mahendra Jain, BBMP commissioner N Manjunath Prasad said the list is under preparation. "As and when we take up encroachments for demolition, we are checking related documents to track officials involved in the violations. We will soon hand over the second list to the probe team. However, in some cases we figured out in Doddabommasandra of Yelahanka zone, most properties have come up without any plan sanction or khata. In such cases, it is difficult to track official involvement," he added.

Linked to Bogus Khata scam?

GN Anand, president, BBMP Officers and Employees Union, said the role of BBMP revenue officials in allowing encroachments on drains is a bigger scam. "All this shows how deep is the nexus between erring babus and builders, or other individuals who have violated norms. Post 2006, when the erstwhile BMP became BBMP, a lot of irregularities happened during the transfer of properties from old CMCs to the civic body. We are demanding the BBMP chief conduct a detailed inquiry into this," he added.
The government will continue with demolitions in Bengaluru. We will not spare properties encroached by the rich and influential, law minister TB Jayachandra said on Monday.

Source: timesofindia
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