BDA 'hijacks' PRR meet agenda

BDA 'hijacks' PRR meet agenda

A public hearing, organised by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to seek people’s opinions about the 65-km Phase-I of the Peripheral Ring Road, turned into a platform for the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to brag about its efforts to compensate the farmers and land losers.

Citizens were supposed to air their views on what impact the Rs 5,800-crore PRR project in Billishivale village will have on environment. Issues such as loss of green belt, cutting of trees, widening of road, dust pollution, stones being extracted from earth, noise pollution and plantations were to be discussed. But the event did not serve the desired purpose as the participants raised questions about land acquisition, KSPCB officials conceded.

One of the land losers from Avalahalli, Reena, said the event was the only meeting held to seek people’s opinions but it failed to serve the purpose. The BDA instead bragged about alignments and compensations. TG Halli land and other issues were not at all discussed. The BDA officials, guarded by over 100 police personnel, had come to set their “own agenda”, he added.

Another land loser, Lalith, said the BDA officials declared that compensation would given as per 2005 guidance value, but they were implementing the Land Acquisition Act of 2014. “This is not fair. The cost of land has gone up and so has the guidance value. The meeting was not called to discuss the compensation. If the BDA wants to discuss compensation, it should call a special meeting,” he said.

MK Prabhu Dev, senior KSPCB environmental officer, conceded that the project’s impact on the environment was not discussed. People instead raised questions about land acquisition.

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