Saturday, April 29, 2006

Rehabilitation packages for displaced soon

Rehabilitation packages for displaced soon
Deccan Herald

“The Bangalore Metro cannot run on the curses of people.” - This statement made by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) Managing Director V Madhu on Friday, perhaps, reflects the non-confrontationist stand the BMRC is taking to expedite the metro project.

Three-four rehabilitation options are likely to be submitted to the government in a week’s time.

Speaking to Deccan Herald a day after the project got Union cabinet clearance, Madhu said the rehabilitation of small traders will be top priority for BMRC. This comes following protests by affected traders of Indiranagar and MKK Road against the proposed route alignment.

He, however, added that there will not be any discussion with affected traders while formulating the packages.

“I tried having a dialogue with them on an earlier occasion, but it was met with resistance. Therefore, we are working on packages based on their grievances, within the provisions of the law. We will submit our proposals to the government, it is up to them to make the final decision,” he said.

The packages will focus only on rehabilitating ‘neighbourhood shopkeepers’ and not residential or large commercial property owners.

“We are providing compensation to those who are losing their residential properties. Rehabilitation is meant for those who will lose their source of livelihood. We want to help them resettle and restart,” Madhu explained.

Residential properties

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation is presently studying the extent of land acquisition in each property, and will chart the rehabilitation benefits accordingly. “In some areas we are acquiring one-third of the property, in others we are taking over two-thirds. We will devise our packages based on that study,” he said.

Even the issue of whether the tenant or owner stands to gain is yet to be resolved.

Delhi Metro example

The BMRC might follow the Delhi High Court order (in relation to Delhi Metro) where it was decided that the 2/3 compensation will go to the owner and one-third to the tenant, in case of tenanted properties.

“We have to study the context, like the duration and terms of tenancy. We are even considering the Transfer of Development Rights scheme as an option,” Madhu revealed.

Rehabilitation issue

“Rehabilitation could be in the form of property development, or allotting them space on our land. We can accommodate them in terminal stations or use the floor area on top of stations to establish their outlets,” Madhu added.

Costs, however, remain a challenge. “We will try to absorb the rehabilitation costs, but it depends on the scale of the target group. If it costs too much, we will have to balance it out. It is too early to say, we are still doing our homework,” Madhu said.


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