Govt nod to cut PRR width by 25 metres

Govt nod to cut PRR width by 25 metres

Govt nod to cut PRR width by 25 metres

The state government has decided to reduce the width of the long-delayed Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) and allow commercial development on both sides in order to make the project financially viable.

The state Cabinet on Wednesday gave its in-principle approval to a proposal by the Urban Development Department (UDD) to implement the project without much financial burden on the government. Instead of a 100-metre width, the proposed road will be 75-metre wide. The remaining 25 metres of developed land will be traded with farmers to acquire their lands for the project, Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The 65-km road project will connect the existing peripheral ring road developed by NICE. It will start from Tumakuru and end at Electronic City, passing through Doddaballapur, NH-7 (Ballari Road), NH-4 (Bengaluru-Chennai highway) and Electronic City. Though the width of the road is proposed to be reduced, the PRR will remain an eight-lane road, he added.

 Instead of monetary compensation, land losers will be given the developed land. Besides, commercial development will be allowed on both sides of the proposed road. The Floor Area Ratio (FAR) limit will be increased by two times on both sides of the road. The comprehensive development plan of Bengaluru will be amended for this purpose, Additional Chief Secretary to UDD, Mahendra Jain, said.

Betterment fee

The government has decided to mobilise about Rs 10,000 crore by imposing a betterment fee on commercial developments and selling what is called “premium” (additional) FAR. Anybody taking up commercial development within one-km distance on both sides of the proposed road will have to pay 1% of the guidance value of the land as betterment fee, he added.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) will have the power to sell additional FAR, the price of which has not been fixed yet. There is a provision to collect toll from road users. The revenue generated from all these sources will be kept in an escrow account and it will utilised for the repayment of the loan proposed to be taken from Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). The government has sought Rs 5,800 crore for the project from JICA.

Jayachandra said the government has notified 1,890 acres of land for the project. But the cost of land acquisition alone is estimated to be around Rs 9,000 crore. JICA does not finance land acquisition and the government is not in a position to raise such a huge sum on its own. Hence, the project conceived in 1990 has failed to take off, he added.

As per the UDD proposal, monetary compensation will be given with respect to 600 acres of the notified land – which is estimated to be Rs 2,000 crore. For the remaining 1,289 acres, developed land will be given as compensation. Bengaluru Development Minister K J George will hold a meeting in this regard with the land losers on Thursday, Jayachandra said.