MUDA’s 50:50 scheme will benefit private developers, say farmers

Majority of farmers have sold their land to real estate developers over the years and the actual agricultural holding in Mysuru taluk has shrunk drastically

The Mysuru Urban Development Authority’s (MUDA) plans to co-opt landholders and opt for a joint venture in developing residential layouts will benefit landsharks with large holdings rather than farmers.

For, it is common knowledge that a majority of the farmers have sold their land to real estate developers over the years and the actual agricultural holding in Mysuru taluk has shrunk drastically.

The MUDA recently signed an agreement with the current landowners who are co-opted as partners in development as per which the planning authority will develop the land into residential sites and carve out new layouts. It will offer 50 per cent of the sites to the land owners in lieu of the land surrendered and the latter will be free to sell the site at the prevailing market rate to reap a profit.

Though the 50:50 scheme – as it is called – is in the pipeline since many years, it was only recently that MUDA entered into an MoU with owners.

The justification for the scheme is that it will save the cash-strapped MUDA the cost of land acquisition; nor will it be embroiled in legal battle over compensation issues which tend to delay projects and layout development.

The authorities cite as example the development of R.T.Nagar which took more than 25 years for completion due to land acquisition and compensation issues.

Though described as a win-win situation for both the land owners and MUDA, it is set to benefit only land sharks and not the farmers.

The original land owners were farmers but they are out of purview under the scheme as the ownership has changed hands

Badagalpura Nagendra, leader, Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), told The Hindu that almost 95 per cent of the agricultural land in four hoblis – Mysuru Kasaba, Jayapura, Varuna and Yelwal – had been converted for non-agricultural purpose and the ownership was with private land developers.

He said the land was purchased from farmers at throwaway prices or the prevailing rate which prevailed at the time of sale, and the real estate sharks with deep pockets sat on it for years without investing a pie on plot development.

With the current agreement the civic body will take up plot development at its cost and it will benefit the private developers as they are absolved of any financial liability on developing the plot, said Mr.N agendra.

For the genuine farmers the scheme may not be really beneficial if they agree to be co-opted as partners in development. In case the land is further away from the city, they will find it difficult to find buyers and will once again be forced into distress selling to tide over any financial emergency. Real estate players will buy these sites at a lower rate citing lack of demand, hold it back till the demand surge creates a favourable rate and reap a profit.

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