Impasse over construction of metro station continues

Anil Kumar Sastry
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BBMP yet to sanction plan for Sampige Road station-tower

The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike says the private partner has encroached upon government land.— PHOTO: K. Gopinathan
The Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike says the private partner has encroached upon government land.— PHOTO: K. Gopinathan

The impasse over the construction of Sampige Road Metro Station and commercial tower under the first-ever pubic-private partnership of Namma Metro continues, with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) refusing to sanction the building plan for the station-tower.

The palike is sticking to its guns that the private partner, Mantri Developers, has encroached upon government land and handed it over for construction of a road by obtaining transferable development rights (TDR).

A high power committee of the government on March 7 directed the BBMP to give approval.

Also, the High Court of Karnataka passed a similar order on April 15.

However, the then BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah wrote to the government in May urging it to withdraw the direction since a joint committee of the palike had established the encroachment even as the BBMP filed an appeal against the single judge order.

The BBMP constituted the committee of Deputy Commissioners of health, estate and land acquisition to examine the allegations of people’s representatives that Hamara Shelters, a concern owned by Mantri, had encroached upon two acres, eleven-and-a-half guntas of government land.

On the other hand, Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) and Mantri Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. are making efforts to get the plan sanctioned for the joint development of the property. While the Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department had directed BBMP to sanction the plan in eight days on November 27, 2012, a high power committee on March 7, 2013 issued similar directions after the BBMP failed to grant the approval.

Work suffers

BMRCL Managing Director N. Sivasailam replied to an email communiqué from The Hindu stating that the station buildings had been partially completed.

The other components such as parking space, station access, etc., remained incomplete as they are integrated with the facility of the joint development partner [commercial tower], which has to be approved by the BBMP.

He said, “The matter is sub-judice and there is an order of the High Court to grant approval to the plan subject to conditions which we have complied with. The BBMP has moved court (after taking one week time from court to grant approval) but there is no stay order. At this stage, we expect the BBMP to comply with the order of the court which is based on the decision of the State government directing the BBMP to accord approval to the plan.”

Mr. Sivasailam said, “We wait patiently. Of course, in this impasse, the work is suffering, as the joint development partner is unable to move ahead both in physical and financial terms as further release of funds for further development is conditional to formal plan approval by the regulator.”

Awaiting response

BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana said that Mr. Siddaiah had written to the government to withdraw the directions (to grant approval for the joint development). “We are awaiting government response to that letter.”

Asked whether the palike would grant approval if the government directs so, Mr. Lakshminarayana said that the BBMP would have to examine such directions.




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