Friday, July 02, 2010

Fresh tremors in Basavanagudi

Fresh tremors in Basavanagudi
After National College flyover displaced people five years ago, Metro Rail is set to disturb their peace again
S Shyam.Prasad

It’s a “colossal waste”. That’s how Justice Ram Mohan Reddy described the National College Flyover in Basavanagudi five years after it was constructed. He made the remark while hearing a petition over land acquisition for the Metro Rail project.
Now, history is repeating itself with the Metro Rail to pass close to the flyover following a change in the rail route alignment and ‘displacing’ more people and property the way the flyover did. Residents are opposing the BMRCL play, saying the flyover has been rendered useless and there is no point in taking over their properties to allow the rail route. The high court has stayed land acquisition on Vani Vilas Road curve for Metro Rail work.
Malini Sriram, who lives on the road, told the court that 1,215 square metres of her property was acquired, bifurcating her property. Almost half the private property acquired on Vani Vilas Road belongs to Malini. She told the court that while others on the road were paid a compensation of Rs 48,000 per sqm, she got only Rs 8,000 per sqm. A total of 2,527 sqm of land has been acquired for the Metro Rail project on the Vanil Vilas Road.
Justice Reddy directed Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) to submit an alternative proposal. “BMRCL should look for an alternative instead of bifurcating the petitioner’s property,” he said.
BMRCL spokesman B L Yeshwanth Chavan said the acquisions were complete on Vani Vilas Road curve and only one person had gone to the court. “It is not proper to comment on a subject which is sub judice. We’ve acquired private properties only on the Vani Vilas Road curve and not the road itself,” he said. The high court also observed the Metro Rail project can be built over the existing flyover.
Justice Reddy took potshots at those who argued in favour of the flyover that culminated in the displacement of many families and commercial establishments. He described the Basavanagudi flyover as a “colossal waste built at the instance of a local MLA”.
The court said, “BMRCL can go over the Basavanagudi flyover. Records tell us it is the most unused flyover in the city. Who will compensate for the sufferings of the people?”
The court’s observation has pitted two former MLAs of Basavanagudi, K N Subba Reddy and K Chandrashekar, against each other in a mud-slinging match, as neither wants to take responsibility for the Rs 20-crore project.


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