Residents from 36 villages are hell-bent on disrupting the construction of the proposed Peripheral Ring Road (PRR), and with good reason.
The PRR that cuts across their villages has already been delayed, and now it is only causing inconvenience to the locals in the form of miniscule monetary compensation for their more expensive lands.
These residents, who have formed their own forum called ‘Save Bangalore from PRR scam’, are pointing fingers at the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), alleging that the properties are notified or de-notified based on the discretion of some influential bigwigs, leaving locals in the lurch. They also pointed out that the original map, prepared for the BDA, by an agency called Alcon, has been submitted to the government, but that’s not the map that was being followed to notify or de-notify properties.
N Shankar, a resident and member of the committee, said that more than 900 acres were diverted for the project, as directed by former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy and his father. However, even before the notification process could start, many properties were sold to their associates for around Rs53 lakh an acre, whereas the original cost was around Rs8 crore. The land has been diverted for the welfare of a chosen few, he said.
Affirming that the BDA is using a bogus map, Shankar spelt out that the map that was being adopted was not the one that was approved by the government. The map was obtained in the form of a CD, which had GIS maps. “This was obtained through the RTI from the Indian Resources Information and Management Technologies Limited,” he said.
He also added that a case pertaining to land acquisition and lack of clarity in the procurement process was filed in 2007 and till date there has been no reply from the BDA. “We as a committee, have obtained all maps and files related to each village. “We now possess the notified and deleted lands through RTI with maps. Interestingly, the data given by the BDA and the data collected through other agencies do not match.
For instance, in paper, they mention some properties have been excluded, because they are stud farms, nurseries, cemeteries, religious and educational institutions. But the locations mentioned in the map and on the ground do not match,” added Shankar.
N Mohan Rao, resident of Maruthinagar and committee member, said these documents would be handed over to the chief minister to take action and stop the PRR construction. The documents would also be submitted to the court to strengthen the case.
The next hearing for the ongoing case (filed in 2007) for Venkatalla village is scheduled for February. The BDA has diverted 48.3 km of land.
Moreover, a meeting was held with Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) to link the two roads and complete the PRR circle, but that has also not taken place. Instead, the BDA has diverted 3 km of land at Tumkur and Hosur Road junctions.
Secretary of the committee, P Rajan said that they do not want the road come up as it lacked complete authenticity in the construction and land notification process. Due to this, residents of 36 villages will be affected, he said.
The government should look into it and ensure that proper compensation as per market price is awarded. The compensation amount has been increased from Rs40 lakh to Rs2 crore per acre.
Earlier when the project was chalked out, it was to be Rs 5,000 crore, but now the cost has escalated. Work is yet to start as the land acquisition process has not yet taken place.
After the request for qualification, nine global tenders were shortlisted. The tenders were also called in but the bids did not take place for the 2,158 acres. BDA officials were unavailable for a comment.