Government pushes metro work on to fast track

The deadline for completion of Phase II is 2023.

The deadline for completion of Phase II is 2023.   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Chief Secretary fixes target for land acquisition every month

One of the reasons for Namma Metro projects missing deadlines is delays in acquiring land — both, private and sites owned by government agencies. In an attempt to ensure that deadlines are met in Phase II, for which work is currently under way, the Chief Secretary has started fixing a target for the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB), the agency that is acquiring land for metro work. The deadline for completion of Phase II is 2023.

The government has also set up a high-power committee headed by the Chief Secretary to come out with directions to clear hurdles. This will ensure better coordination among government agencies and transfer of government land, said officials.

The BMRCL has identified 3.20 lakh square metres of government land and 9.33 lakh square metres of private land for Phase II, which has six reaches.

“The BMRCL pays double the guidance value and 12% per annum as compensation for acquiring private land from the date of issuing the final notification. The guidance value gets revised almost every year. Any delay in issuing the final notification results in spending more money as compensation. Acquiring land in time helps speedy completion of the project and saves money,” said an official.

As of May 2019, it has acquired 1.04 lakh square metres of government land and 8.21 lakh square metres of private land. However, it is yet to receive a major chunk of land from government agencies. For instance, it requires 45 acres from the Forest Department to build the Kadugodi depot and 18 acres from Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for the Challaghatta depot. Negotiations have been going on for more than two years.

Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar said, “Every month, the status of land acquired for the metro project is reviewed. The Cabinet has already given approval for the high-power committee to take decisions on transferring land owned by government agencies to the BMRCL. For the acquisition of private land, the KIADB has been asked to meet the target every month. ”

A BMRCL official said that close monitoring by the committee and improved coordination has helped take possession of land required for the Reach 6 underground line from Dairy Circle to Cantonment. The BMRCL has also commenced preliminary work for the tunnel network between Vellara Junction and Shivajinagar.

Increased land cost

In 2012, the BMRCL had estimated that it would cost ₹2,000 crore to acquire properties for the 72-km long Phase 11 of Namma Metro. In less than seven years, the cost has more than tripled to ₹6,293 crore.

Apart from land acquisition, other factors responsible for missed deadlines and delays include alignment problems and cancellation of tenders.

For phase II, the BMRCL has already paid ₹4,934 crore as compensation for acquiring land. It is also in the process of acquiring land for Phase II-A (Silk Board to K.R. Puram) and Phase II-B (K.R. Puram to Kempegowda International Airport).

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 5:30:58 AM |

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