Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Markings make them see red

Markings make them see red

Property owners want BBMP to study TDR option before implementation

Team DNA

Being broke and with little to spare for infrastructure, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has come up with the transfer of property rights (TDR) plan for property which will be taken over for road widening. But many property owners in the city are going to be affected by this project and they are apprehensive about the advantages of TDR.
TDR gives a property owner the right to build one-and-half times more than the property surrendered for public use. In all, 91 roads will undergo road widening. But TDR remains a large grey area. People are confused and the BBMP has done little to allay their fears. Solomon Benjamin, professor with National Institute of Advanced Studies, says that TDR option ought to be studied, researched and discussed in the civic body threadbare before its implementation.
In the first phase of the road widening plan, 45 stretches have been identified. One can see the red markings on the walls along Race Course Road, Sheshadri Road, and Bellary Road, says executive engineer Basavaraj. In the second phase of the project, 46 roads have been identified for widening, he adds.
Outer areas are divided into five zones of Yelahanka, Dasarahalli, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bommanahalli and Mahadevapura. In these areas, 512km of roads have been demarcated as arterial and sub-arterial roads.
DNA team caught up with property owners affected by the road widening project. Most of them looked unhappy and confused over the measure. They say they get no guidance in making use of TDR.
Yogesh, who owns a medical shop on Nimhans Road, looks angry and dejected. "Some officials came here last month to measure the width of the road. I was told I will have to surrender 2.25m portion of my shop. I don't know what to do," says he.
Bhaskar Hegde, owner of Tejas Sweets and Cake Paradise, is no less worried. "I am anxious and upset about the road widening plan. I'm not sure how much area I've to surrender. I don't have any clear idea on how TDR is to be used. No agency has intimated me about the TDR plan. I will be happy if only 30m of the road is widened as per the original plan. But the plan to extend it to 45m will mean I'll be saying goodbye to my establishment. I am not going to accept that," he says.
Bharath S, owner of Vijaya Sagar restaurant on Nimhans Road, says: "This December, they may start the work according to the notice given to me. I am informed that I will have to surrender 3m of my restaurant's portion. I have no idea what the TDR is all about."
Prema, a kiosk owner, says tearfully: "I faced many problems to bring up this shop the way it is now. This is my bread and butter. If it is taken over, where will I go? I don't think I will be able to restart business successfully in a new place. Also the widening of roads will result in cutting of trees which is not a good thing."
Gyan Punjabi, a resident hit by road widening, would rather patiently wait than fall into the 'sweet talk' of civic officials. "The government project and legal process move slowly. So I will wait and see," he says.
Puspha Naidu, who lives in a house along Banaswadi Ring Road, is asked to surrender 200sq ft of her property. "Nobody tells me what this is all about. If they go on widening the roads, where will it end," she asks herself.
Venkatesh, resident of Lingarajapura in Banaswadi and a BMTC employee, has been asked to give up 30ft of land from his property. He has not yet consented to it.
DP Pande of Viveknagar is firm that he will not yield an inch. Lakshmi of the same area says her residence was demolished for a paltry compensation of Rs35,000. Her family was told alternative land would be provided where they could build their home. "We have not been issued any notice," she says. Just some makeshift provisions are made. No wonder she screams when someone mentions the word TDR.


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