The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) intends to cut down on land acquisition cost for the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) by making it an elevated corridor. With this move, it is expected to reduce land required for the project by nearly 40%, which will be denotified from acquisition.
However, farmers whose lands have been notified say the BDA will have to compensate them even if their lands aren't acquired for the project. They are seeking compensation from the authority for ‘locking up their land’ for more than a decade.
The BDA issued preliminary notification for 1989 acres in 2004-05 and issued a final notification for 1,920 acres in 2006-07, to build an ‘at grade’ (not elevated) 100-metre wide road. Though the BDA is yet to take possession of this land, records of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) reflects the authority as the owner of the land.
Gopal S.C., a farmer from Sulinkunte whose one acre and seven guntas have been notified for the project, said, “In the last 12 years, we were only allowed to grow crops on the land, which was also adversely impacted due to innumerable restrictions,” he said. The notification barred them from taking loans, digging a borewell, taking up any construction — from cowsheds to vineyards to grow grapes, or any permanent structure.
“Now, after 12 years with not a rupee paid as compensation, the BDA cannot turn up and announce that they don’t need our land. We will be happy to get our land back, but the BDA must compensate us for the losses we suffered,” said Eshwaranna, a farmer from Gulimangala in Sarjapura Hobli, whose 1 acre 12 guntas were notified for the project.
Kodihalli Chandrashekhar, president, Karnataka Rajya Raita Sangha, who had led protests in the past demanding fair compensation to affected farmers, said they supported the government in implementing the PRR and even making it an elevated corridor. “The BDA must give 1.4 times today's guidance value of the land it acquires as compensation as per law. It is unfair for farmers whose land are not acquired as well, if they are not compensated for the 12 years. BDA has to device a formula to assess their losses,” he said, adding that they will take the matter to court.
BDA Commissioner Rakesh Singh said the BDA would meet all the stakeholders of the project soon to discuss these issues.