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 March 20 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.
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.
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 recalling 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.
Many shortcomings in ensuring adherence to guidelines on assessment, sanction, disbursement and identification of beneficiaries of social security pensions, including Sandhya Surkashna Yogana and Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme and monthly maintenance allowance.
About 90% of teachers appointed in special schools did not possess requisite qualifications because the department for empowerment of differently abled persons was in shambles.
The government failed to devise a comprehensive education scheme for disabled persons that cover transport facilities, removal of architectural barriers and supply of books and uniforms.
Payment of remuneration for examination duties, disregarding government’s direction, by four universities resulted in irregular expenditure of Rs 28.01 crore.
Absence of mechanism to monitor remittance of tuition fees to government account resulted in grant-in-aid receiving ITIs retaining Rs 19.61 crore.
‘Poor planning failed water scheme’
One of Karnataka’s biggest experiments in urban water supply -to offer 24×7 water supplies to Mysureans -has failed due to blunders committed by the implementing agency though Rs 271 crore was spent on it. This, the CAG said, was largely because of incorrect survey data and non-revision of the Detailed Project Report (DPR). The faulty survey data in 69 direct metering areas to 47 district meter areas (DMAs) was incorrect, which curtailed funding for the project. The board also failed to ensure installation and calibration of pressure control valves, defeating the objective of supplying water 24×7 to 47 DMAs.