Efforts by Activist GK Bhat, Dist Admin Tells BSNL to Cancel e-Auction of Land Abutting NH 66 in City

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Activist GK Bhat’s Efforts, Dakshina Kannada District Administration Tells Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to Cancel e-Auction of land abutting NH 66 in City- Activist Bhat demands legislation prohibiting the sale of government-allotted land to private parties

Mangaluru: It is learnt that Dakshina Kannada District Administration has directed the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Dakshina Kannada telecom district, to cancel e-auction proceedings of two plots abutting NH 66 in Kadri,(Near Kadri Park) Mangaluru. In his 14 February 2023 order, Deputy Commissioner M.R. Ravi Kumar told BSNL that 2.84 acres in Survey No. 57/1A2 and 1.97 acres in Survey No. 57/B in Kadri B village are government land. They were acquired by the then Assistant Commissioner on September 19, 1967, for the Telecom Department.

Speaking to Team Mangalorean Activist and member of the Kadri Park Development Committee G K Bhat said, “DC Ravi Kumar has said that the Record of Tenancy Rights (RTC) of the plots mention ‘government’ in column 6 in 1968-69. RTCs of 2000-01 mention ‘government’ in column 9, ‘government Poramboku road’ in column 6, and ‘wireless department’ in column 11. DC further stated that the Digitised versions of the RTCs mention ‘government’ in column 9, and ‘reserved for BSNL’ in column 12. The DC learnt that BSNL proposes to sell these plots through e-auction. DC Kumar had said that the plots are government (State) property, and there is no provision to sell those to private parties, thus directing BNSL to withdraw the e-auction process”.

“The properties were given by the State government to the then Telecom Department, now BSNL, to provide telephone and allied services. The company could not sell such land, and many other prominent citizens, including architect Venkatesh Pai, petitioned the government against BSNL’s move. The land parcels are in a prime location abutting the National Highway, and selling government land would cause irreparable loss to the general public. The land should be used for public purposes alone. Giving another instance of diverting government-allotted land for commercial purposes, the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation recently leased out 1 acre in Bendoorwell to a private agency. In this case, it was a lease of land for 30 years and not an outright sale,” added G K Bhat.

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