Bangalore PRR rebooted…

Bailing out the sulking real estate industry in and around Bengaluru, the state government has rebooted the 30-year-old Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) ghost! The proposal, lying in cold storage for over two-decades, has been given a fresh lease of life, and on Wednesday, the state cabinet granted in-principle approval for the 65-km long road project connecting Tumakuru Road with Hosur Road cutting through Bengaluru East and North taluks. However, the government’s decision to rekindle the long-pending plan is likely to run into controversy with its controversial compensation pattern which will be discussed with land owners on Thursday.

The state government modifying its earlier plan of building 100 metres of eight-lane PRR road has decided to lay just 75 metres of eight lane road. “The remaining 25 metres will be developed and used for commercial purposes post commissioning of the PRR,” TB Jayachandra, Law and Parliamentary affairs minister briefed media persons after the cabinet meeting. The government was worried that it may have to pay Rs 8,000 crore to Rs 9,000 crore as compensation alone going by the land acquisition Act as it would be a huge burden on the government as it may have to shell out similar amounts on building the 65-km road. Freeing itself from paying hefty land acquisition compensation, the state government has proposed alternatives that include giving back land losers developed land and partial payment of compensation with double FAR.

“The committee headed by the Chief Secretary which looked into this issue has come up with a plan of compensating land losers with developed land. The land owners will be given back the developed land with double FAR (Floor Area Ratio). To decide on the subject, a meeting of farmers and land owners has been convened by Bengaluru Development in-charge minister where a final decision will be taken,” Jayachandra explained.

Explaining further, Mahendra Jain, additional chief secretary, Urban Development Department, said, “That apart, about 100 metres of land on either side of the road will be developed as premium FAR and will be sold to commercial investors. Once the road is commissioned, there will be a lot of commercial activities including layouts, apartments etc. That being the case, the government can charge betterment levy on such activities as provided in the BDA Act on 1 km of land on either side of the road. By these methods, the government hopes to rake up about 10,000 crore over a period of 10-15 years.” The state government, by deciding to develop 25 metres on either side of the road, would result in the development of 1,200 acres of land. “The total required land would be 1,890 acres, out of which 1,200 acres will be retained. It would be far easier to compensate land losers with developed land without much of a financial burden,” Jayachandra detailed.

Govt likely to face anger

The state government has called for a meeting of farmers and land owners to decide on the compensation pattern. Sources in the Urban Development department revealed that it would take at least 10-15-years for the development of the area even if farmers agreed to settle for the developed land with double FAR.

“Having lost the land, we have no alternatives to earn our livelihood and whatever the FARs or developed land will only come into use after 15 years. What will farmers or land owners do till that period?” questioned a land owner close to Bagaluru.

“Addressing these concerns, the government has also decided to go in for payment of partial compensation either by one-third or two-third of the land value and the remaining being the developed land with double FAR facilities. A final decision will be taken during the farmers meeting,” Jayachandra clarified.

PRR will be a toll road
Deciding to link the existing NICE corridor from Tumakuru Road to Hosur Road, the government has proposed to raise a loan of about Rs 10,000 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for laying of the eight-lane roads. “Since the investment will be made by raising loans, the roads will be tolled and toll will be collected by BDA, which will in turn be used to repay the loan amount,” Jayachandra revealed.

* The project was conceptualised back in 1986 keeping in mind the growing Bengaluru and its vehicular traffic. By 1990, the acquisition of land began and subsequently ran into cold storage. The project was given life again in 2000 when SM Krishna was the Chief Minister. However, since then, there have been numerous developments over its construction.

In the year 2005 – the PRR project was proposed in two phases on the lines of Hyderabad ORR project.

2006-10 – Property owners challenged the land acquisition process before the Karnataka High Court.

2011- Citing delay in implementing the project the High Court quashes PRR project.

2013 – In June, the state government decides to limit PRR project from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road having a stretch of 65 Km. In July, the Karnataka High Court upholds the acquisition of land barring 372 acres of land identified in 2010.

2014- In November, environment clearance was given by the Environmental Impact Assessment Authority.

2015 – In November, Union urban development department also approves the project.

* The alignment starts at Makali off Tumkur Road
* It moves towards Thammenhalli and Soladevanahalli
* After moving towards Dodda Bylakere it passes through Mavallipura sewage treatment plant, before entering Jarakabandekaval forest
* The road intersects Doddaballpura Road near BMS Institute of Technology, around 3 km from the periphery of Yelahanka Satellite Town
* The PRR intersects Bellary Road at Hosahalli
* After entering agricultural areas in Kogilu, residential and industrial areas in Agrahara, Thirumalenahalli, Bellahalli, Doddagubbi, it touches Rampura
* Headed in the south-east direction, it intersects Old Madras Road near Sree Mahalakshmi Ventateshwara School in Avalahalli
* Then it heads towards Kadugodi.
* Near railway line close to Kadugodi Milk Federation Society it moves towards Channasandra and reaches Sorahunase and touches Varthur Lake
* After Kachamaranahalli it moves 3.5 Km towards southwest and it cuts across Sarjapur road in Sulikunte. All the areas around this stretch are agricultural lands.
* The PRR then curves south-west towards Gattihalli, Huskuru and Chikkanagamangala
* Going further south-west, the road moves along the periphery of the industrial areas of Electronics City
* The road enters the Electronics City and intersects Hosur Road near Suvidya College in Hebbagodi

Credits Bangalore Mirror

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