Friday, June 11, 2010

ROADS WIDEN, TEMPERS FLARE

ROADS WIDEN, TEMPERS FLARE
Bengaluru,


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Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP)'s ambitious proposal to widen around 216 roads in the city has hit a legal hurdle with some residents filing petitions against acquisition of their land for the project. Estimated to cost Rs 3,248 cr the civic body has identified about 37,000 prop erties for demolition.



The anger over BBMP’s proposal to raze down several properties for road widening is growing among Bengalureans who have questioned the civic body’s lack of foresight in planning such projects that will make them lose their hard earned property. Citizens also say that they must get monetary compensation instead of the Transferable Development Rights which have found few takers, reports Chandrashekar G.

Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike's ambitious proposal to widen around 216 roads in the city has hit a legal hurdle with some residents filing petitions against acquisition of their land for the project.
Estimated to cost Rs 3,248 cr the civic body has identified about 37,000 properties falling along the roads for demolition.
About 10,500 buildings would have to be razed to make space for bigger and wider roads. The civic body has chosen the more viable Transferable Development Rights (TDR) to compensate property owners as monetary compensation would cost BBMP Rs 10,000 crore, said an official.

But the anger over the numer ous road widening projects is growing in Bengaluru with residents protesting against the double standards followed by the government and BBMP. Citizens say they have to pay the price for the lack of foresightedness on the part of the authorities while planning such projects which could take away the only hard earned property they own.
They want the government to put such projects on hold till infrastructure projects like the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR), NICE corridor and Namma Metro and mono rail are complete.
Once these projects are ready, traffic congestion will come down drastically making roads less crowded, says A.
Vidya Shankar, president of Bangalore South Residents Welfare and Cultural Association. Other alternatives like developing Tier-II cities and taluk headquarters by investing more money in township projects and industries could be explored which will tackle the issue of unchecked growth of Bengaluru, he said.

"If the government still feels the need to widen the roads, residents will not object to it," he said. Residents of south Bengaluru alleged that minister R. Ashok, who is in charge of the city, had promised to drop road widening projects to garner votes during the BBMP election.
Once the BJP gained a majority in the BBMP council, the minister and the government breached the trust of the public and failed to keep up their promise, Mr Vidya Shankar said. Many residents along the stretch from Silk Board Junction to Mysore Road, were given Transferable Development Rights (TDR) forms as the existing 100-feet road was sought to be widened to 150 feet displacing several senior citizens and hapless people, he pointed out.

Even as most people are yet to understand the concept of TDR completely, residents of BTM Layout, JP Nagar, Ilyas Nagar and Banashankari 3rd Stage found their houses had already been marked for demolition ahead of the work undertaken by BBMP, he said.Leo Saldanha, coordinator, Environment Support Group (ESG), points at the long-term consequences of road widening with the main casualty being pedestrian safety. The widened Bellary Road witnessed 54 deaths between May and December 2008. He questioned the need for spending so much money on road widening when other more serious issues such as power, water and education need more attention.

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