Wednesday, May 12, 2010

BBMP can't force TDRs on residents: experts

BBMP can't force TDRs on residents: experts

Vaishalli Chandra. Bangalore

Is the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) adopting unfair means to browbeat law abiding citizens? Yes, say civil society groups. They say that the BBMP was using TDRs (transferable developmental rights) to get innocent people to part with their land. They feel that if the BBMP wants to acquire land it should do so through the Karnataka Land Acquisition Act.
The groups are agitated over TDRs being thrust upon residents of Banaswadi Main Road to part with their land for a road widening project. "TDR is an option, it is voluntary. If residents refuse then the government has to acquire land from them," says advocate Sunil Dutt Yadav, who has filed public interest litigation (PIL) case against on road widening. He adds that "acquisition of land has to be under the Land Acquisition Act or any other act authorising land acquisition".
Land acquisition has a clearly established procedure. Even when land was acquired for the Namma Metro project, the affected property owners were duly compensated. "When Metro acquired land, not only the owners but also the tenants were compensated. However, TDR leaves out tenants," says Vinay Sreenivsa, Hasiru Usiru.
Residents of Banaswadi, who have been "tricked or misled" into believing that there would not be any compensation and they should accept the TDRs in exchange of land, should send a notice to the BBMP rejecting the TDR, and then file a suit for injunction. The suit, however, cannot be filed as a collective effort; it has to be filed individually, says Yadav.
He adds that in case people were being asked to sign the TDR applications, it is completely "illegal, as the order cannot be forced on residents". The residents need not fear, as no one has the right over their property. Yadav said that in case the residents decline the TDR option, the government has to acquire land, issue notices to residents, hold public consultation and give compensation.


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