Govind D. Belgaumkar
It is giving priority to acquisition of land and buildings in Reach 1
In all, 27 acres of private land is being acquired State has ordered transfer of 32.22 acres for the project
BANGALORE: The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) has set March 2007 as the deadline for acquiring land for the project.
The BMRCL is giving priority to acquisition of land and buildings in Reach 1 (the 7-km elevated stretch between M.G. Road and Byappanahalli in the East-West corridor), where 11 acres of private land is to be acquired. The BMRCL hopes to complete the process in Reach 1 by December 7. In all, 27 acres of private land are being acquired for the 33-km network. Private land acquisition accounts for only 12 per cent of the total requirement.
The landowners, who have already been notified, have filed objections. The Land Acquisition Officer of BMRCL is hearing them.
In addition, BMRCL has set up an independent Land Committee under the chairmanship of P.S.S. Thomas, retired Secretary to the Union Government, to fix market value of the land being acquired. The need to constitute the committee arose, as the guideline values were not acceptable as market value in over 20 areas. Being an interested party, BMRCL did not want to decide the market value, V. Madhu, managing director, BMRCL, said.
On the other hand, the BMRCL has called for tenders from valuers registered under the Wealth Tax Act for appointment as valuers.
So far as public land is concerned, the State Government has ordered transfer of 32.22 acres of land. The land belongs to police (3.65 acres), Health Department (6.12), Social Welfare Department (1), Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (11), KSRTC (7.51) and KPTCL (1.25). The land requirement of the Bangalore Metro is to be met by the State Government.
The Bangalore Metro is acquiring 138 acres of Central Government land, out of which 102 acres of Defence land has already been released to it. Besides, 26 acres belonging to the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. has been purchased, while four acres belonging to Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. is under transfer. Acquisition of the remaining six acres is in progress.
The Defence has also allowed the BMRCL to use its land on Old Madras Road near the Indiranagar BDA Complex for setting up a casting yard.
Meanwhile, the work of shifting of underground utility lines has commenced in Reach 1. But BMRCL is not in a position to take up any work on CMH Road, which constitutes an important segment in Reach 1. This is because Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy is yet to undertake his proposed visit to the area before giving the final word on the alignment of the project.
Traders on CMH Road have been demanding that that the proposed metro rail should pass through Old Madras Road to avoid acquisition of their land and property on CMH Road. When a delegation met Mr. Kumaraswamy a month ago, he promised to visit the area before taking a decision. That is yet to happen. The postponement may affect BMRCL's schedule, according to official circles.
BMRCL is scheduled to award the contract for the construction of 7 km-long bridge by November. It hopes that the work of building the bridge will commence by December.