The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) has finally cleared a major hurdle for acquisition of forest land in Kadugodi, which it needs to build a depot under Phase II. The Revenue Department has agreed to hand over 16 acres in Thippagondanahalli, around 40 km from the city, to the Forest Department to take up compensatory afforestation.
The BMRCL had identified 45.18 acres in Kadugodi to build the Whitefield depot, which is part of the extension of the Purple Line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield under Phase II. As per the rules, the rail corporation must provide compensatory land for afforestation to the Forest Department prior to acquiring the land. While it had provided 29 acres near Dandeli Kali Tiger Reserve for afforestation, it faced several setbacks while acquiring the rest of the land.
It tried to acquire private land adjacent to Bhadra Tiger Reserve, but was forced to drop the plan after the owners quoted a high price. Last year, as per a suggestion by the Forest Department, the BMRCL approached the government seeking transfer of land near Thippagondanahalli.
Channappa Goudar, General Manager (land acquisition), BMRCL, said, “For over two years, we have been trying acquire the Kadugodi land. After acquiring land near Dandeli for compensatory afforestation, our attempt to acquire land near Bhadra Tiger Reserve failed as it was not a viable option. Later, the Forest Department suggested we transfer the land near Thippagondanahalli. The identified plot was revenue land. We requested the government to give it to the Forest Department. Now, the Revenue Department has agreed to do that.”
According to Mr. Goudar, a majority of the land required for extending the metro line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield has already been acquired. “Kadugodi was the major chunk of land pending for acquisition. This apart, a few properties are pending acquisition, which include some railway land near Baiyappanahalli metro station.”
To build the 15.50-km line from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield, which is under construction, the BMRCL had identified 442 properties worth ₹1,489.93 crore. It has already paid ₹1,189.63 crore as compensation for 427 properties.