Big plans for Brand Bengaluru…

From The New Indian Express

BENGALURU: A day after the High Court passed stinging comments on the city’s harrowing traffic, the state government got into damage control mode, reviving its plans to build a township and an additional ring road.

The Bidadi integrated township, about 30 km from Bengaluru, was approved by the H D Kumaraswamy government in October 2007. It was to be developed by Delhi-based real estate giant DLF at a cost of 24,000 crore.

The township has remained on the drawing board since May 2009 after DLF withdrew. The Satellite Town Ring Road project, which the government is reviving now, failed to make any progress after the Bidadi project suffered a setback.

The government is also fast-tracking the Peripheral Ring Road and Elevated Corridor projects as part of a comprehensive plan to ease traffic woes and salvage Brand Bengaluru.

Now, the Bengaluru Metropolitan Region Development Authority (BMRDA) will develop the township on about 10,000 acres. The state government has given an approval in principle, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George told reporters here on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters after meeting officials of the BBMP, BWSSB and BMRDA, George termed the Bidadi project the “Greater Bengaluru Integrated Township”. The modalities of the project are being worked out.

Land Pooling The Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) will connect almost all developing towns around Bengaluru — Dobbspet, Doddaballapur, Devanahalli, Hosakote, Sarjapura, Attibele, Anekal, Kanakapura, Ramanagara and Magadi. The 380-km road will be built by the BMRDA, George said.

Land will be acquired on the Amaravathi (Andhra Pradesh) model. The government will hand over a part of the developed land to those giving up their land. In addition, they get a pension for 10 years.

While the techno-economic feasibility report is ready, the cost, implications and implementation details are being deliberated.

Central Help: The state government has requested the Centre to share the cost of the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) and three elevated corridors.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah made the request at a meeting with Minister for Highways Nitin Gandkari recently.

The projects are estimated to cost Rs 11,000 crore, of which about `8,000 crore will be required for land acquisition alone.

The Centre has responded positively. Japan International Cooperation Agency (JAICA) could provide financial assistance for the Peripheral Ring Road, George said. The Public Works Department is preparing a detailed project report for the elevated corridors, estimated to cost about `18,500 crore.

Elevated Corridor Connect: The state government plans to build three elevated corridors, and has requested the Centre to share the costs.

The corridors are North-South: Silk Board to Chalukya Circle, East-West 1: KR Puram to Yeshwantpur, East-West 2: Varthur Kodi to Jnana Bharati.

Whitefield Must Wait, Says George: Commuting problems in Whitefield and on Outer Ring Road cannot be solved overnight, Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said on Tuesday. He denied reports that many IT giants were planning to move out of Bengaluru because of the traffic.

“A few companies could be looking at other cities for their expansion plans, but nobody is planning to move out,” George asserted.

Such expansion plans are not unusual, he said. “For instance, Infosys has implemented its expansion plans in Kolkota. Similarly, the Tata group has come to Karnataka,” he told reporters.

George said the Metro was being extended from Byappanahalli to Whitefield. The government was also considering a Bus Rapid Transit System or a Metro link between Silk Board and Whitefield on the ORR. The Metro appears a better option, he said.

The Bidadi township will be a live-work-play project, sources said. It includes 643 acres of water bodies, 6,336 acres of private land and 2,198 acres of government land. Water bodies and forest areas will be retained.

●Project approved in 2007

●Was to be implemented by DLF

●DLF backed out in 2009

●Spread across 10,000 acres

●BMRDA to implement project now

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