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Money back for ‘probable’ allottees

BDA Will Complete Refunding By August 15

Bangalore: Two years after it proposed its Arkavathy layout, the BDA has started refunding the deposited of its ‘probable’ allottees.

The decision to do so was taken recently, sources told The Times of India. But the issue had come up at board meetings after BDA appealed against the April 15 order of Justice V. Gopala Gowda quashing land acquisition for the layout. Now, cheques are being sent out to these 20,000 individuals along with a letter from BDA expressing its regret at having to return the money. The entire process is to be over by August 15.

Officials said if BDA gets a favorable verdict, it will intimate the ‘probable’ and ask them to pay back the deposit as well as the sital cost.

Many allottees had dipped into their life savings to cough up the deposit amounts. Other had taken loans from banks. These people are now finding things difficult because, now, the banks want the money back. “Bank lent the money thinking that the citizen will soon get a site and title deed and eventually go back to the bank to finance his\her housing loan. These are all lower middle class people who want a home of their own, but since the allotment process is not happening, naturally the banks have issued them notices,” sources said.

In fact, insiders say that BDA did talk to three or four banks some months ago after some citizens complained that banks were harassing them over the loans.

The amount to be refunded is Rs. 50 crore to Rs.52 crore. BDA has earned interest (over Rs. 23 crore, according to one estimate) on that amount but will not be passing on the benefit to the citizens. But BDA, sources insist, has already spent Rs. 20 crore to Rs 25 crore on the layout as fee for contractors, for land acquisition and so on.

But refunding could involve more complications. In Arkavathy Layout, 20,000 sites were to be formed. Instead, if BDA gets the nod for a layout with 10,000 sites, half the probable will lose out. In that case, the number of attempts made will count.

After BDA went on appeal, BDA commissioner M.N.Vidyashankar did announce that the ‘probables’ could voluntarily take their deposit money back. Some citizens did do so. Most of the 20,000, however, preferred to wait out the court case.

Arkavathy Layout saga

  • Layout proposed in 2003.
  • Estimated cost Rs 933.47 crore.
  • Spread over 2,750 acres in 16 villages.
  • BDA collected Rs 981.36 crore as deposit from 2032 lakh applicants.
  • Deposits already returned to 2.15 lakh unsuccessful applicants.
  • Now, BDA is also refunding the 20,000 ‘ probables’.
  • Process to be over by August 15.

Note: if you do not get your cheque by September 1, contact the sepical counter set up at BDA for the BDA general No’s. 23442271/73/74 asks for extension 277, or contact the BDA public relations office Ph. 23464064.

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