Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 18:
In an attempt to bring in transparency, Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), the agency in charge of the overall development of Odisha’s capital city, is mulling making online applications mandatory for customers purchasing plots and houses from the agency.
BDA authorities are about to make two changes to the draft rules to implement these changes. They will invite views and objections from the public on how one can apply online for plots/houses within 15 days of publication of the tentative list of beneficiaries. The suggestions and objections would then be forwarded to the government for amendments to the current set of rules.
“The new rules will make online application mandatory and bring in more clarity and transparency in the distribution process as it will update the distribution criteria, reason for selection and rejection of applications on the BDA website,” said a senior BDA official.
Going forward, BDA will only distribute plots for residential, commercial and public usage. The land would be developed in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode and communication facilities would also be made available before handing them over to the individuals or private organisations.
The distribution of property will be done either based on lottery or on bids. Customers who already own a land under BDA would be automatically disqualified from applying for another one. The selected customers will be made to use the land for the stated purpose within five years; failing which the land would go back to BDA.
Besides, BDA would not allocate any land to any religious organisation such as a temple, church or mosque etc.. Land would be allocated to such institution only with the direct permission of the state government.
Once the selection through lottery or bid is over, the property would be handed over to the customers within 30 days of submitting the registered lease deed. Action will be taken against concerned officials in case of inability on BDA’s part to hand over the property to the customer within the stipulated time period. This will be covered under Odisha Right to Public Services Act, 2012.
It may be noted that there were no specific guidelines for allocation of land/houses by the BDA. This led to different laws for different housing and plotting projects leading to large-scale irregularities, as discovered by the CAG report and subsequently by the Taradutt headed Task Force appointed by the government.