Thursday, September 24, 2009

BBMP GOES ‘LANDLESS’

BBMP GOES ‘LANDLESS’
With the Palike offering no money in compensation, land owners on Dr Rajkumar Road - where the civic body is planning an underpass - refuse to give up their rights
MANASI PARESH KUMAR


The Transferable Development Rights has once again played spoilsport for the BBMP projects. The latest one to fall prey is the underpass project at Dr Rajkumar Road.
This Rs 125-crore plan, which has six underpasses, is expected to ease the crowded 5-km stretch. With a PCU (passenger car units) of close to 15,000 per hour, the road is among the busiest as it directly connects the city to Yeshwantpur, Basaweshwaranagar and Rajajinagar.
Six underpasses have been planned at Okalipuram junction, Vivekananda College Circle, 10th Cross, Navrang Theatre, Breach Stone and Navrang Bar and require 85 commercial buildings, 17 residences, two properties belonging to the BBMP and 1,000 sqft of railway property at Okalipuram.
But the BBMP has run into resistance from property owners. “The width of the road is approximately 24 metres and the underpasses will be 31 metres wide. The total land required is 9,000 sq mts. Except for Okalipuram and Vivekananda College Circle, we are having problems with land acquisition,” said a BBMP engineer.
Despite the TDR requisitions that have been out since August 24, not a single requisition has been filed. “The market value of land on the 5-km stretch is approximately Rs 3,000 per sqft. The BBMP is offering TDR options of 50 per cent. If you are losing about 100 sqft of property, we are offering a TDR option of 150 sqft of built-up area calculated in accordance with the Floor Area Ratio (FAR). Should the owner decide to sell his TDR option, he will be getting Rs 4,500 per sqft. There have been queries about the project,” said Vijay Kumar, Executive Engineer, Major Works Department, Special Projects, which is handling the project.
But with no money being offered, there are no takers. “Without an attractive compensation, the land owners refuse to give up their rights,” said an engineer of the department.
The tenants on the road have no clue but are worried. “Our owners will opt to sell their TDR options instead of sinking more capital into the building. If we do find a way around the problem, who will compensate us for the loss incurred during construction?” says Srinivas Kumar, who runs a tyre shop on the road.
The property owners are also reluctant. “I don’t even get money for having lost such prime property and have to find another buyer,” says Nagaraj Shetty, who owns a 30 X 20 shop in the vicinity.
This isn’t the first time the BBMP has faced this problem because of TDR. Of the 95 roadwidening projects notified in 2005, only six have been completed and engineers in the Major Works Department blame it on land acquisition for the delay.
The Palike has yet to find a solution. “There have been debates at the Urban Development Department and letters exchanged on finding an alternative. But we do not have the resources to pay the market. If the residents decide to tie us up in legal tangles, there is little that we can do,” say BBMP officials. Meanwhile, Transport Minister R Ashok has said the government is considering al-OPTION TO BUILD/SELL
Transferable Development Rights or TDR means you are given the option of additional built-up area in return to the property you have lost. You can either choose to build or sell the option.
WHY IT DIDN’T WORK
Unlike the BMRCL, which paid market value of land to the owners, the TDR does not appeal to small property owners because they lose in terms of property volume and not gain monetarily as well.The TDR option was also exploited by developers by buying them in bulk.The large property owners have been quick to grab the option as their property value escalates considerably.
lotting BDA sites of similar dimensions to people who have lost their homes to infrastructure projects.

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