A. Saye Sekhar

Land acquisition will continue as per the approved master plan, says Collector

VIJAYAWADA: In the wake of the recent ruling by the High Court, which ordered the arrest of Municipal Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar, one thing that's lurking in the minds of citizens is: "What will happen to Bandar Road? Most owners of shops and establishments demolished their structures on their own. Will the road be widened at all?"

District Collector Navin Mittal on Tuesday categorically stated that the road would be widened. Mr. Mittal told The Hindu that the administration would follow all the legal procedures set by the High Court and acquire land wherever necessary for road widening. "We will go as per the approved master plan which stipulates the widening to 120 feet," he asserted.

Mr. Mittal, however, clarified that those who came forward for voluntary demolition as part of the agreement arrived at with the administration would not come under the ambit of acquisition. When the administration proposed to widen the road to 120 feet, several interest groups sought the restriction of the road's width to just 100 feet. After negotiations, a consensus was arrived at to limit the widening to 100 feet only.

Explaining the modalities, the Collector said that as far as the second and third stretches - Ranga statue to Benz Circle -- were concerned, almost all the interested parties agreed to the offers made by the administration, while only three of them approached the court.

Those who agreed for the widening up to 100 feet would get additional FSI so that they could enhance the height of their buildings. They would not be paid any compensation. Wherever the road had to be widened up to 110 feet, the administration would pay structural compensation to the landlords and allow additional FSI. However, they would not be given any land compensation. But, wherever the road would have to be widened up to 120 feet, the affected parties would be given structural and land compensations.

Mr. Mittal said wherever the land would be acquired as per law and master plan, the additional space would be used for creating a public utility.

As the money was released for the development of the demolished portion of the road by the Roads and Buildings department, the process of calling for tenders had already begun. The works would be completed as per schedule.