In an effort to stop corruption in the field of real estate and control the rise of scams, the Karnataka government is now considering to stop issuing the B Khatas in order to come up with a foolproof system for checking corruption and preventing exploitation of innocent and gullible people, particularly the middle-class people who often purchase residential revenue sites just on the outskirts of the city. A three-member panel supervised by the retired IAS officer Gopalakrishna Gowda has been asked to recommend measures on the best ways to achieve this goal. HK Patil, the rural development minister is about to organize a meeting in the coming week for deciding the various terms of reference to help the committee in its task.
A number of different suggestions have already been presented, including stopping the issuing of B Khata completely and only issuing A Khata as well as minimizing role of the officials in issuing the Khatas. The government is now waiting for the suggestions of the expert committee before finally taking a decision. Such reports have been presented by MK Kempe Gowda, the director of Panchayat Raj. He also further said that the committee is going to look into the problems of Khata system that has been prevalent so far in Bengaluru as well as other major cities in Karnataka before they finally submit their report.
For a long time, the Khata system of Karnataka has been one of the major sources of agony for the property owners in this state, given the confusion and corruption associated with it particularly on outskirts of the major cities and areas, including Bengaluru. This is due to the fact that skyrocketing land prices in the main city areas have forced the people to look for land areas on the outskirts where they might build their own homes. This naturally increased the demand for land in the outskirts of the cities and many touts have come forward to cash in on this sudden rise of demand. The touts have repeatedly cheated the investors with unfair, fraudulent practices. Last year, the state government of Karnataka had stumbled upon a serious scam that went up to Rs 400 crore in the north Bengaluru region alone. Numerous complaints were lodged in the Rajanakunte and Bagalur police station limits.
Police officials operating in these areas have to say that this scam mostly involved the real estate agents and touts who worked in tandem with sub-registrar’s office. Together, they sold properties based on the writings on handwritten Khatas. In spite of the fact that the government made e-Khatas mandatory, they sold properties though such handwritten Khatas and also forged the necessary documents to support their claims.
One of the main reasons as to why the government of Karnataka is duty-bound for changing the B Khata system is that Karnataka High court has already declared the practice of issuing and using B Khatas illegal. The High court also directed the BBMP authorities to immediately issue A Khata for all the Luxury villas in Bangalore. Going one step further, the RDPR department has planned to develop innovative software to exclusively deal with the gramathana (panchayat) properties. This can be done by using the Bhoomi software of revenue department which takes care of all the land records. This new system is going to include the maps of the properties, their GPS coordinates, all conversion details as well as mutation of the property records in case there is a sale partition or some other critical issues that are needed to be handled immediately.
All the transactions that are related to the gramathana properties will be directly linked to this software in future. This is going to help the officials in creating and maintaining accurate and authentic records as well as curtailing fraudulent and unfair transactions of properties. According to one of the senior RDPR officials, this software system is also going to make a clear demarcation of the agriculture lands and the revenue lands.