Why flat owners in Bengaluru are at odds with the Revenue Department

Flat owners in Whitefield have been unable to get khata certificates from revenue officials, despite repeated attempts.
Why flat owners in Bengaluru are at odds with the Revenue Department
Why flat owners in Bengaluru are at odds with the Revenue Department
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Flat owners in Bengaluru’s Whitefield are locked in a fierce dispute with revenue officials to get khata certificates - a revenue document required to calculate property tax.

Years after apartment complexes in Whitefield were issued occupancy certificates (OC’s), the city’s civic body - Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is yet to bifurcate the properties and issue khatas to flat owners. All flats are occupied but owners say that repeated attempts to get khata certificates from revenue officials have ended in failure.

As a result, flat owners have not been able to pay khata transfer fees and betterment charges.

According to rules, when occupancy certificates are issued by the Town Planning Authorities, the Revenue Department has to bifurcate the land and issue individual khatas. However flat owners lay the blame on revenue officials for failing to do their job.

“The Revenue Department doesn’t proactively do the bifurcation of land or issue khata certificates. They wait for residents to approach them and when residents do that, they ask for all documents even though the documents have been given to Town Planning Authorities to issue the OC,” said a member of Whitefield Rising, a citizen movement in Bengaluru.

Flat owners also said they had been stonewalled in their attempts to collectively approach the Revenue Department. “When we go together, they ask us to come individually, and when we do that, they ask for a bribe,” alleged the member of WR. The residents also wrote a letter addressed to Zonal Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue Department in Mahadevapura Zone requesting the issue of khatas and repeatedly brought it up in ward committee meetings. They allege officials of paying lip service every time their demands are raised.

The situation reached a tipping point in December 2017 when officials failed to turn up at a khata mela announced at the Revenue Department office. “Many residents took the day off and went to the revenue department office to get their khata certificates but the officials were not there. There is frustration among the members for a while now about this,” said the member of WR.

Despite attempts by TNM, both the Commissioner and Mayor were not reachable for a comment.

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