Leader of Opposition (Congress) in the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Council M. Nagaraj has termed Mayor S.K. Nataraj's assurance to provide a Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) site to those who lose their homes to road widening as a “political gimmick”.

Speaking to presspersons here on Tuesday, he alleged that the Mayor was trying divert people's attention from the BBMP's Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike's (BBMP) unscientific road widening plans. “Officials have begun to mark the properties that will be lost to widening. Now, the Mayor claims he has written to the Government and BDA, urging them to sanction sites in the newly developed layouts,” he said.

No sites

Mr. Nagaraj added that the BDA had collected money from thousands, promising sites in Arkavathy Layout. “However, the people living there are not ready to give up their land. Also, the BDA has not acquired any land to develop the new layouts. How will it then give sites to the three lakh people who will be affected by road widening?” he asked.

He said that after Veerappan was killed, the State Government had promised to give a site to all the Special Task Force personnel. “Even though three Chief Ministers have come and gone, they have not been allotted sites yet.”

‘Pay market rate'

Mr. Nagaraj said that BBMP must compensate the affected by paying the prevailing market rate. “When the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation can pay compensation according to the market rate, why can't the BBMP? Both are government departments.”

National policy

He added that according to the National Rehabilitation Policy 2007, the BBMP is obligated to first provide alternatives and then take up widening work. “Now that Mono Rail and Namma Metro will both be commissioned soon, at least 40 per cent of the roads need not be widened,” he said.

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