Sunday, July 11, 2010

Your house can’t be taken forcibly under TDR

Your house can’t be taken forcibly under TDR
Residents Can Breathe Easy
Sunitha Rao R | TNN

Bangalore: There is much anguish and hand wringing in the city about people losing valuable parts of their cherished homes to road-widening. The most vocal of the affected 40,000 have been lambasting the BBMP’s move meant to smoothen the flow of traffic in a very congested city.
They can all breathe easy. No acquisition can be done without the owner’s consent, according to the current law, under transferable development rights (TDR). Simply put, if a person doesn’t want to give his/her property for roadwidening, then he/she need not.
Right to Information (RTI) documents in possession with TOI have thrown up the surprising and hitherto well-hidden clause which states that properties can be acquired for road-widening only under TDR. The catch — which favours the home owners — comes in the next clause; TDR can be enforced only if the owner is willing. If he isn’t willing, the only option open to BBMP is to forcibly acquire the property by paying current market rates under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. A process that is very expensive, tedious and timeconsuming and as such not a route preferred by BBMP to acquire land for road-widening.
H Siddaiah, the newly appointed BBMP commissioner, admitted as much: “We cannot forcibly take land under TDR for road-widening. In case people refuse to give land for TDRs, then we have the option to acquire land only under the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act. But for this, there are many procedures involved — wherein we first have to issue notices to the property owners. We have to give them three months time to file objections. Then compensation will have to be paid to the property owners. The quantum of compensation again varies from area to area depending on the real estate value of the land.”
The commissioner’s hope is that Bangaloreans will willingly part with their land for road-widening and the consequent infrastructure projects, keeping in mind the larger interests of the city.
For the record, BBMP has already identified over 37,000 properties across the city of which 4,436 properties are in Central Business District. Realising that under TDR they cannot forcibly knock down properties, BBMP had readied plan B — to forcibly take away land for road-widening. But that might come to naught.”If the BBMP has to compensate all the affected property owners, the Palike will incur Rs 10,000 crore expenditure which is virtually unaffordable for a corporation already reeling under financial crunch,’’ sources told TOI. BBMP went ahead on roads despite rule
Bangalore: The current rules of land acquisition say that under transferable development rights (TDR), the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) can’t forcibly acquire land for road-widening work.
The Times of India is in possession of documents which make this point clear. In a RTI revelation in the case involving a five-star hotel and an apartment complex on Sankey Road in 2009, the BBMP had told the Chief Information Officer: “Only through the scheme of Transferable Development Rights (TDR), road widening projects can be taken up. “In this case, private property owners “have not co-operated with the BBMP and it is not possible to widen the road legally. And as per law, BBMP cannot acquire the land and go ahead with road-widening.”
This is what BBMP’s executive engineer in major roads department had told the information commission on February 24, 2009, to a RTI query by one S Amaresh, managing trustee of Information Rights Study Centre.
The project involved widening of road from High Grounds Police Station to Hebbal Flyover. The BBMP went ahead with the road-widening on this stretch by acquiring the land belonging to Bangalore Golf Club opposite the star hotel.

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