Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BBMP bowls a big wide

BBMP bowls a big wide

Civic agency will spend Rs3,248crore, pull down 10,500 buildings for its wide road plan

Rohith BR. Bangalore



Your road is getting bigger and wider. And don't stand in the way.
BBMP wants to make traffic snarls on city roads a distant memory and it has left with few options but to pull down anything that stands in the way of its master plan of development.
The number of roads identified for widening is a whopping 216 and runs into a total stretch of 450km. The three-year long project, as per current estimates, costs around Rs3,248 crore and the civic agency is determined to acquire around 37,000 properties, both built-up and vacant lands.
A senior BBMP official said almost 10,500 buildings will have to be pulled down to make way for bigger roads and the rest are vacant plots. But the road ahead of BBMP is quite bumpy.
The civic agency does not have enough money to pay compensation for those who are ready to be part of the acquisition drive. BBMP would have to shell out Rs10,000 crore if it were to compensate owners as per the current market value. And its budget for 2009-10 is a measly Rs3,180 crore.
So what's the way out? Transfer of development rights (TDR). A BBMP official says the civic agency has chosen the TDR route for acquisition since its coffers are near empty. BBMP has dispatched more than 16,000 TDR notices. "Only 2% of the owners have agreed to collect the development rights certificates (DRC) under the TDR scheme. Many of them are seeking monetary compensation," said the official. BBMP officials will have to be at their persuasive best to ensure a smooth acquisition process.
"We are holding meetings with residents to convince them about the need for the project. It is heartening that in places such as Bommanahalli and Mahadevapura people are coming forward to accept TDRs," said Chikrayappa, BBMP chief engineer (major roads).

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