Metro land already acquired for Highway?

Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited officials working on the extension of Namma Metro from Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield under Phase II of the project are stuck in a bizarre spot. How does one acquire land that has already been acquired is the big question haunting them at a critical stage of the venture.

BMRCL completed survey of properties along the route with the help of the survey, settlement and land records department a few weeks ago. Between 30 and 40 properties located on the right side of the KR Puram hanging bridge that are required for the project have already been acquired by National Highways way back in 1999. In most of these cases, while the compensation has been made to the property owners, the authorities have not taken possession of them. Owners of properties located in the stretch of close to one kilometre continue to enjoy their physical possession.

A BMRCL official said, “It is a peculiar case of land acquisition under Phase II project of Namma Metro that we are stuck with. We did not face this kind of a situation in Phase I. As per the alignment proposed, the elevated structure runs parallel to the existing service road of the hanging bridge on the right side after crossing the Old Madras Road. However, properties required for the metro project have already been acquired by National Highway authorities way back in 1999. Also, compensation has been paid to respective land owners in many of these cases.”

“The process of identifying required properties, issuing notifications and payment of compensation to the owners was done between 1993 and 1999. Having collected the relevant documents on the issue, we are trying to discuss the same with officials in NHAI division of the state government. That, though, is easier said than done because quite a few of them are retired,” he added.

The official went on to add that while 10 metres of land was required to construct the elevated structure along the stretch, National Highway authorities had acquired 30 metres of land along the existing service road. “Over the years, there have been plenty of land development activities here. Many commercial complexes, etc have come up on the stretch. In 1999, the land cost very less but now the cost has touched Rs 7,000 per square feet in the area, if we go by the present land compensation package ie. The big question, is why we should compensate for land that has already been compensated for by another government agency.

The matter has to be resolved at the highest level and we are hoping that we will do it as early as possible,” said the official. The link between Baiyappanahalli and Whitefield is 15.5 km long and will have 14 stations. It is the first metro link to the IT corridor of the city. BMRCL has identified over 250 properties on the stretch measuring over 1.13 lakh square meters of land required for the metro work.

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