Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dead scheme kills their dreams

Dead scheme kills their dreams
S Kushala |TNN

Bangalore: Shivappa Gowda (62) of a village close to Iblur on the Outer Ring Road desperately needs money. His wife suffers from kidney failure and monthly treatment costs add up to nothing less than Rs 2 lakh. When his savings run out, this small-time farmer wants to sell his 2 acres of land. But he can’t do it.
Like Shivappa, there are hundreds of land owners in some villages along the Electronic City stretch whose prime properties are up for grabs but cannot transact their properties. Their lands have been notified for a project that was shelved long ago — the hitech IT-BT township.
It was once the most talked-about project, probably the first of its kind that would create an exclusive worklive-play atmosphere for techies along with an expressway connecting the ring road, from Iblur to Electronic City.
After notification of the project, land prices in the surrounding areas shot up and today, the market rate is around Rs 3-4 crore per acre.It was shelved for various reasons two years ago, but the lands continue to be notified leaving the owners in a quandary. Sources said the land mafia as well as some politicians brought pressure on the government to dump the project as they owned several patches of land in the notified regions. LAND LOCKED
IT-BT township mooted 6 years ago Exclusive work-live-play atmosphere for techies Total area 1,097 acres Final notification in February 2006 Project cost Rs 1,500 crore Shelved two years ago Bill on project was sent back
Bangalore: Villagers along the Electronic City stretch are unable to sell their land as it is notified for a project that has been shelved long ago. About six years ago, BDA mooted a hi-tech city project along with an IT corridor and an 8.5-km mini-expressway. The residential colonies were exclusively for IT and BT employees and families. The BDA zeroed in on 1,097 acres and final notification was issued in February 2006 for land acquisition for the Rs 1,500-crore project. At this point, it was realized that lands had to be procured under industrial category for the project but BDA had powers to acquire lands only for residential projects.
It placed an amendment which was taken to the legislature and then to the governor. The Bill was sent back with the observation that BDA need not get into industrial land acquisition process as the KIADB is designated for this. The project did not proceed further and the BDA shelved it. Parallely, the government also mooted the township project in Bidadi and was not keen on the hi-tech city.
However, before the previous H D Kumaraswamy government’s tenure ended, the powers that be denotified large stretches of lands for a big price and nearly 200 acres were denotified in the Iblur-Electronic City stretch.
“Our lands were a part of the rich agriculture belt once upon a time. Now, we don’t do any farming as lands are being sold to developers for layouts. Properties in adjacent villages are sold for a fortune, whereas we are stuck with this notification problem,’’ rued Shivappa, Rudranna and Narayanaswamy, the affected farmers.


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