Wednesday, June 09, 2010

B'lore South residents meet, discuss TDRs threadbare

B'lore South residents meet, discuss TDRs threadbare

Vaishalli Chandra. Bangalore

It is a precious home, built with savings gathered over a lifetime. Now, thanks to the move to turn the 100-feet road from Silk Board Junction to Mysore Road into a 150-feet one, many residents stand to lose part of their homes.
The threat of loss of home and hearth drew a large crowd together at the Krishna Kalyana Mantapa, Jayanagar, 9th Block. The Bengaluru South Residents Welfare Cultural Association had called a meeting to address the issue of Transferable Development Rights (TDR) being offered by the BBMP as compensation for loss of property.
TDR remains something of an enigma to many. Residents of BTM Layout, JP Nagar, Ilyas Nagar and Banashankari 3rd stage, many of whom gathered at the meeting, had earlier found their houses marked, ahead of works undertaken by the BBMP.
Addressing a packed audience, A Vidya Shankar, president, Bengaluru South Residents' Welfare and Cultural Association said that before the civic polls, they were assured that road widening would not be carried out, "In fact, officials were also present when these assurances were made," he said. However, many residents along the stretch were given TDR forms as the existing 100-feet road from Silk Board Junction to Mysore Road was sought to be widened to 150 feet.
Leo Saldanha, coordinator, Environment Support Group (ESG), pointed to long-term consequences of road widening. Pedestrian safety is jeopardised, he said. The widened Bellary Road witnessed 54 deaths between May and December 2008. He questioned the need for spending so much more on road widening than other issues like power, water and education. Besides, no amount of road widening would make room for the lever-increasing vehicular population. Saldanha pointed to aesthetic and historical reasons too to oppose road widening: Kemepegowda, Tipu Sultan, and even the British sought to create a city that was pedestrian-friendly, he argued; the widening of the Silk Board Junction-Mysore Road stretch would also detract from the city's aesthetic appeal, he said.

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