Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Farmers and residents, who are set to lose hundreds of acres of land, their only source of livelihood, alleged on Wednesday that the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) has bowed down to pressures from vested political interests and changed the alignment for the first phase of the Peripheral Ring Road.

Gautam Chand, a resident of Madanayakanahalli, told presspersons that 1,810 acres of land, lying in Bangalore North, East and Anekal taluks, and notified for acquisition, were mostly in private land and would affect hundreds of families. “According to the preliminary notification, about 30 per cent of government land needed to be acquired and most else was vacant land. Only about 10 per cent of the land belonged to individuals,” Mr. Chand said. As for any evidence of changes made to accommodate political pressures, all individuals whose lands were being acquired, said that they could not provide proof. “Many lands are in benami registrations. So we cannot prove that they belong to politicians or influential persons. Only the Lokayukta or a CBI enquiry can reveal the irregularities,” said B. Nagesh Reddy, an affected farmer.

Thimmarasaiah, another resident of Madanayakanahalli, said: “Our 16 acres is being acquired for the ring road. If they take away so much land from one family, how are we to survive?”

Sujata Agnihotri, whose husband Sunil Kumar owns two sites at Venkatala, was in tears as she pleaded with the reporters present to help her. “My husband is a kidney patient and requires dialysis twice a week. These sites are our only assets. If they take away this from us, what should I do if I need money in case of an emergency?”