Bangalore: Experts say British-era maps can show properties built on storm sewers

As the Karnataka government has ordered encroachments on the Bengaluru storm drains to be demolished following recent floods, experts suggest referring to base village maps from the 1880s and 1920s as well as the 1958s to avoid confusion. end up buying properties that are on lakes, reservoirs or sewers.

Urban experts say buyers should also check the classification of kharab (wasteland) land. B-Kharab refers to non-cultivable land including forest land, parks, reservoirs, lakes and sewers and cannot be converted by private parties. This land, where any development activity is prohibited, would be encroached upon by private builders. A-Kharab plots, classified as unsuitable for agriculture, are reserved for school and government buildings.

Urban experts say buyers should also check the classification of kharab (wasteland) land. (Express photo)

A storm sewer and lakes expert, Captain Santhosh Kumar (retired) said that in 99% of cases, lawyers or buyers only check the title deeds but not the kharab classification. “There are ways to check drains and encroachments. The first is to examine the base map of the village area dated to the years 1880, 1923 and 1958. The second is to check the records of Rights, Leases and Crops (RTC) survey numbers and see the details of kharab lands. Drains generally fall under Category B Kharab. A close study of the land index, revenue registers, tippani (a hand-drawn sketch by the surveying service), akarband (a register showing area and valuation of land number survey) is required. It is mandatory to check the survey sketch issued by the surveying department or plan approval authority and check whether it is implemented,” he said.

“Properties should request the base map of the survey from the 1920s from the developer. The next step is to identify the survey number on the map to which the property belongs. Then the RTC can be downloaded from the Bhoomi website and if it shows B Kharab in its column 3 then get the akarband document of the property which will show the extent of the kharab land It shows details of land revenue assessment,” said Ram Prasad , co-founder of Friends of the Lakes.

Although inquiry numbers can be checked from the Dishaank mobile app, they cannot be used for legal issues, according to Kumar.

The Indian Institute of Management’s Real Estate Research Initiative (RERI), with support from Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, has launched six years ago to help residents know if their property is on a storm sewer.

Venkatesh Panchapagesan, professor at IIM and chair of RERI, said the initiative focuses on four pillars: data, research, policy and education. “This particular tracker ( was launched after the 2016 floods in Bangalore to help citizens determine if their properties were encroaching on storm sewers. Just like now, the flooding caused a knee-jerk reaction from the BBMP and started a property demolition spree, most of which they had given their approval in the first place,” he said.

“We wanted to make it a citizens’ initiative complementary to our other work for the government and for the professional association (CREDAI). The portal used public data from the BBMP and the Department of Investigation and Regulation. Because this data was in silos, we gathered their maps and made them easily searchable. Although we did not create any new data, just integrating data across different departments has been of tremendous help to citizens who have been blindsided by the demolition campaign,” he added. .

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