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Fatima Bakery land ownership row may delay Metro to Nagawara

Chiranjeevi Kulkarni, Bengaluru, DH News Service, Sep 4 2017, 1:25 IST

Now, KIADB says disputed land belongs to CSI Trust Assn

Vellara Metro station

Vellara Metro station

Land acquisition for Gottigere-Nagawara line in Phase 2 of Namma Metro project is likely to slow down due to the tussle over Fatima Bakery land needed for building the Vellara Junction Metro station.

Trouble started soon after a gazette notification was issued in March with the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), which acquires land for Metro projects, listing the tenant as the owner of over 1,000-sqft land.

In the subsequent stakeholders’ meeting called by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), the Karnataka Central Diocese (KCD) provided documents to show that the land belonged to The Church of South India (CSI) Trust Association.

“After we came to know that the tenant has claimed Rs 50 crore damages, we wrote to BMRCL on July 12, submitting all the documents needed to prove the ownership,” KCD secretary Rev John Milton told DH. “How can a tenant claim the ownership and damages against a land that doesn’t belong to him,” he asked.

Owner of the bakery V F David denied the charges and claimed that the land was transferred to his father’s name decades ago. “In 1961, they (CSI) feared that the government would acquire the land after the water tank behind the bakery was taken over by the government. To avoid losing more land, they transferred the khata to my father’s name and told him to pay a nominal amount as rent,” he said.

‘It’s All Saints’ Metro station, not Vellara’
Karnataka Central Diocese is miffed with the BMRCL for naming the upcoming Metro station between M G Road and Neelasandra as ‘Vellara’ station, but the government remained non committal.

“The Church of South India is not only providing 38,282 square feet of land, but also shown possibly the best cooperation in land acquisition process. But, authorities are calling it Vellara Junction station everywhere. The government should consider the fact that we gave up the land and name it as ‘All Saints’ station,” said KCD secretary Reverend John Milton.

Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said it was too early to comment on naming of the stations. “I cannot say whether we can consider this demand. The decision should be taken by the managing director of the BMRCL,” he said.

He said the khata was in my father’s name till last year. “Suddenly, the BBMP transferred it. This is the second building we have built for the bakery and we have spent a huge amount of money on it. If it is taken over, then our livelihood is lost,” he said.

The KCD secretary alleged that David obtained a khata certificate from the BBMP in 2010 in his name illegally. “A correction was made in December after we wrote to the BBMP, making CSI the lessor,” he said, adding that KCD has issued a legal notice to David.

Toughest part
Vellara Junction Metro station is part of the 13.7-km underground section, which is seen as the toughest part inthe Phase 2.

Considering the delay in finishing 8-km tunnel section in Phase 1, the new line is already expected to drag the project till 2022. With land acquisition hurdles staring at its face, Metro may find it tough to break the ground.

Officials in KIADB, however, said there would be no delay in land acquisition. “We have scrutinised the documents. It is clear that the land belongs to CSI. Compensation will be provided to the rightful owner in the coming days following which we will hand over the land for Metro construction,” a senior official said.

‘It’s All Saints’ Metro station, not Vellara’
Karnataka Central Diocese is miffed with the BMRCL for naming the upcoming Metro station between M G Road and Neelasandra as ‘Vellara’ station, but the government remained non committal.

“The Church of South India is not only providing 38,282 square feet of land, but also shown possibly the best cooperation in land acquisition process. But, authorities are calling it Vellara Junction station everywhere. The government should consider the fact that we gave up the land and name it as ‘All Saints’ station,” said KCD secretary Reverend John Milton.

Bengaluru Development Minister K J George said it was too early to comment on naming of the stations. “I cannot say whether we can consider this demand. The decision should be taken by the managing director of the BMRCL,” he said.

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