BENGALURU: The much-awaited Bidadi Smart City project, for which the Bangalore Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (BMRDA) has begun preparing the master plan, will mark a new beginning for Karnataka.
Envisaged on the lines of the proposed Amaravati project in Andhra Pradesh, the country’s largest experiment in landpooling, the BMRDA is also exploring a similar route under the provisions of Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act, 1961(KTCP Act) for Bidadi city .
In a first, under the KTCP Act’s town planning (TP) scheme, the planning authority will allow farmers and other land owners to voluntarily give up ownership rights of their land to the government for the project. Once the project is over, original land owners will get a share of the developed land. “Under this scheme, there is no land acquisition or compensation as such. The government will develop various amenities on the project land, because of which the value of land parcels will automatically go up. This will then push up the market value of the land, benefiting the original land owners. The scheme will benefit the government too, as it needn’t worry about monetary compensation which often costs a bomb,“ said a BMRDA official.
The official, however, said that the share of developed land and related agreements with farmers will only be arrived at after the master plan is ready .“Preparing the master plan itself will take at least a year or so,“ he added.
The BMRDA in its notification dated November 15, 2016 had called for expression of interest for developing the master plan for the project, for which the planning area is spread across 38 villages in and around Bidadi in Ramanagara district. The Greater Bengaluru-Bidadi Smart City Planning Authority under BMRDA will be developing a master plan for a 9,178.29-acre knowledge park, to be taken up under the work-live-play concept. The actual township project, however, will cover 10 villages in Bidadi.
BMRDA officials said they’ll also keep the option of land acquisition open for farmers, wherein adequate compensation will be given to land owners as per norms. “But we hope farmers will respond positively to the TP scheme. Even in Amaravati, land owners have agreed to pool in 31,000 acres of the total 33,000 acres required for the project. Landowners in Bidadi will be happy if the project progresses as they haven’t been able to develop their land parcels since a decade because of the proposed project.” he added.
Often one of the biggest hurdles to development works is land acquisition. As such, the landpooling option the BMRDA is exploring could be a smart way to involve those who have to part with their land for the Bidadi Smart City project. A developed version of the land parcels will not only fetch the owners a better price in future, but also save the government the hassle of dealing in monetary compensation. As it’ll be voluntary participation, there will be lesser scope for heartburn. Drawing from the Amaravati model, this experiment, if successful, could mean a win-win situation for both the government and landholders.
Credits ET Realty