Swathi Shivanand

Rs. 600 crore allocated for 3 lakh houses for the poor

  • Impact fee, JNNURM grant are major sources of revenue
  • Rs. 500 crore expected from auctioning of sites

    BANGALORE: For people suffering from the crumbling infrastructure of Bangalore city, there is a ray of hope. The Bangalore Development Authority has allocated a major portion of its resources in its forthcoming budget to improve the quality of life in the city.

    For 2007-08, the BDA in its budget proposes to spend around Rs. 2,450 crore, sources in the Finance Department of the BDA told The Hindu on Wednesday. The proposed budget had been sent to the Government for approval.

    "The budget has been prepared keeping in mind the urban policy of the Government," sources said.

    Peripheral Ring Road, BDA's prestigious project, has been allocated Rs. 750 crore in the budget, for land acquisition. This 118-km road, which will connect all the six national highways running through the city and Mysore Road and Magadi Road, will require 3,532 acres of land. Housing for the Economically Weaker Sections, an oft-repeated promise of the State Government, gets Rs. 600 crore in the BDA's budget. Two lakh houses will be constructed by the BDA on the eastern and western parts of the city.

    The BDA has set aside about Rs. 640 crore for acquiring lands around Bangalore.

    BDA Commissioner M.K. Shankarlinge Gowda told The Hindu that the lands were being acquired for the formation of new layouts. He refused to state the number of layouts being formed or the amount of land being acquired, stating that the details would be made public only after the approval of the Master Plan 2015.

    Major projects, including construction of underpasses at Ramamurthy Nagar and Magadi Road, have been allocated about Rs. 200 crore. Completing civil works at layouts developed by BDA, such as Banashankari Layout, HSR Layout, HRBR Layout and Anjanapura will get priority, said sources.

    Another highlight of the budget were the tree parks that the BDA proposed to create in its new extensions. "We have started with an initial amount of Rs. 5 crore. We will increase it if need be," sources said. Major sources of revenue for the BDA are auction of lands recovered from encroachment and stray sites; levying of `impact fee' and funds from Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

    The BDA plans to raise Rs. 600 crore by levying impact fees on property owners around the peripheral ring road as they would benefit from it in terms of access and increase in property value. The authority has pinned its hopes on the soaring market rates and expects at least Rs. 500 crore from auctioning of sites.

    It hopes to get Rs. 800 crore as grants from the Centre and State as part of JNNURM for the peripheral ring road. Property tax and other revenue receipts are expected to generate about Rs. 120 crore.

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