No takers for TDR, road projects stuck

Several of BBMP's ongoing and proposed road-widening projects have hit roadblocks.

Not a single property owner in the city has opted for the ‘cumbersome’ transferable development rights (TDR) ever since the new TDR policy came into effect in March 2017. This admission by the BBMP’s Projects wing shows just why several of its ongoing and proposed road-widening projects have hit roadblocks.

Property owners want monetary compensation. But the cash-strapped BBMP says it cannot afford that. Result: Widening of Bannerghatta Road, Varthur Road, Sarjapur Road, Tannery Road and Jayamahal Road are stuck in limbo due to non-availability of land.

The revised TDR policy says the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will issue twice the value of the land to the land-loser as TDR. But owners of properties identified for acquisition are not impressed and insist on monetary relief.

A senior BBMP official from the Road Infrastructure Department said, in the past, the Palike had given monetary relief. “We have given monetary compensation in some of the projects associated with signal-free corridors,” recalled the official.

“So far, only three TDR proposals have been sent to the BDA for approval. But none of them has been issued as there are no takers,” said Dr Soujanya A, deputy commissioner, Land Acquisition and TDR, BBMP.

She admitted that issuing a TDR document is a lengthy and cumbersome process. This involved identifying properties, surveyors authenticating them and BDA issuing TDR if there are no objections, she explained.

The land acquisition deadlock has left many ongoing projects incomplete, triggering huge headaches for motorists. Work on the Bannerghatta Road widening has progressed only by about 25% while the Varthur Road project is crawling at only 10%. But does the Palike have an alternative strategy to surmount the land acquisition issues? Nandeesh J R, executive engineer, Road-Widening Projects would only say this: “We need to expedite the process of issuing TDRs.”

But he articulated the reason just why BBMP cannot afford monetary compensation: “Monetary relief costs us heavily and we cannot afford it. For instance, the Bannerghatta Road widening project alone can cost up to Rs 100 crore to acquire land. Later, we have to further bear costs for implementing the project,” he said.

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