Let me provide you with the most obvious evidence to the contrary in this post.
Many new apartment complexes in the outskirts of Bangalore are sold with what's called the "B" Katha. This includes most of the Sobha apartments in the Bellandur belt (which is where I live). Only a couple of apartments in this belt have the "A" Katha.
Now these are apartments where a 3 Bedroom apartment sells for Rs. 1.1 Cr - 1.3 Cr and a 4 BR apartment sells for Rs.1.7 Cr to Rs.2 Cr. Most major banks provide loans for these properties.
I wanted to find out the difference between the two kathas and what it means.
A "katha" literally means an "extract". All it tells is, there's an entry for this land in the BBMP office and the katha is proof of that. The BBMP keeps two sets of registers - the "A" register for legal land (land legally approved by the Government for residential purposes) and the "B" register to keep track of all the "revenue land" (land not intended for residential purposes). It was created as a means to keep track of all buildings constructed on illegal land. Somewhere down the line, BBMP decided to issue an extract of this illegal register so that property taxes can be collected against these properties.
I have read all the comments to the blog posts, I am no fan of big Government myself, not to the extent of DhiMan :), but things like this prove his argument. It's clear that there is illegal construction done on un-approved land. There is no reason the Government should bless this in any which way. If anything, they should be levying heavy fines for providing civic amenities. Instead, they start issuing a "Katha", which confuses the lay-buyer.
The developers, of course, take this as a go-ahead to go berserk on constructing illegal multi crore properties on such illegal lands. What people believe is that the "B Katha" is some proof that this is a valid property. On the contrary, the "B Katha" is a Government issued proof that your property is built on illegal land. Look no further.
The BBMP commissioner Siddaiah recently created a major ruckus by declaring B Katha is a bogus. This kick started a whole range of discussion around the "B Katha" and puts the major builders in a spot. This ruckus led to "betterment charges to give permanent Katha"
"As the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) gears up to implement betterment charges, citizens may heave a sigh of relief as ‘B’ khata owners can now get a permanent title deed, ‘A’ khata, by paying the same.
However, senior BBMP officials have placed a rider by stating that ‘A’ khata alone cannot be considered as regularising the property. “Even if they pay the betterment charges and get their ‘B’ khata converted into ‘A’ khata, property owners will still have to get their land regularised under Akrama-Sakrama,” informed a Palike official."
You can now take an illegal "B Katha" and get it converted to an "A Katha" - but it's still illegal. i.e, the Government has now taken an obviously clear indicator that this property is illegal (B Katha) and have confused the legal document (A Katha). Earlier, if you owned a "A Katha", that was an indication that it was a clear property. Now, if you own a "A Katha", it "may be" clear.
But then, isn't there an exit through the "Akrama-Sakrama"?
"AS PER THE AMENDMENT TO THE KTCP ACT FOR REGULARISATION, 31-12-2008 WAS THE LAST DAY AND ALL THE CONSTRUCTIONS, ILLEGAL BUILDINGS, UNAUTHORISED LAYOUTS, REVENUE SITES ETC FORMED OR CONSTRUCTED BEFORE 31-12-2008 IS ELIGIBLE FOR REGULARISATION."
Ah, so it's time bound.
But has even this been implemented? Not quite. It was announced in 2007, but it still hasn't been made legal by the Government yet.
In the meantime, all builders use this legal mess to forge ahead in the construction of illegal property hoping that some day all of this mess would be regularized.
Till that happens, your Rs.1.5 Cr pent-house from the big name developer that has a "B" katha - remains illegal; and you even have a Government issued document to prove it.