Land row: Metro wins a major battle

The High Court on Friday dismissed all the petitions challenging the land acquisition by BMRCL, particularly the one related to the Plaza Theatre building on MG road. The petitioners had challenged the land acquisition on MG Road and CMH Road for the Metro project and also questioned the appointment of a bureaucrat as MD, BMRCL. The division bench comprising Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice N Anand dismissed the petitions saying that it cannot be stalled at this juncture when the project is almost 40 percent complete.  

Refusing to entertain the petitions, the bench in its over 150 pages judgement said, “If such things are entertained,  projects cannot be implemented. The sufferers are the public at large.” On the petition challenging the Metro Rail Station on M G Road and acquisition of Plaza theatre, the bench rejected the petition which had also sought to drop the land acquisition. 

Turning down the request of the property owners to retain the first floor of Plaza theatre, the bench observed that the petitioner is desperate to save the property from acquisition, which cannot be done.

On the petition challenging the acquisition of land by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board for the BMRCL project, the Court said that Section 6 of Industrial Act mentions about providing infrastructure to the industries. The City, being a growing industrial hub, requires adequate infrastructure.

The Bench termed the petition by the CMH Road residents challenging the land acquisition, as a private interest litigation. It also rejected the petition challenging the appointment of a bureaucrat as Managing Director of BMRCL instead of a technocrat. It was a policy decision by the Government, the Court ruled.

Construction on plaza land

Construction of the station concourse on the Plaza land is expected to begin soon.
Sources in the BMRCL said that the judgement would have be studied first. “The M G Road (Plaza) station construction can begin soon and the project on Reach-1 completed on schedule. However, we will have to first get possession of the land to begin construction of the concourse at Plaza. Once complete, it will have connectivity to the Church Street side. A sky-walk will also be have constructed from the Plaza station area to the Metro platform on the opposite side of M G Road,” said sources.

Amendment for exemption to fell trees for Metro

The houses of legislature on Friday passed an amendment to the Karnataka Government Parks Preservation Bill, 2009 to seek exemption for felling of trees for Bangalore Metro in Lalbagh and acquire parts of Cubbon Park.

The amendment gives permission to the Government to use 1135.18 Sq mts along the Lalbagh Compound towards R V Road for constructing the Metro. Medical Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda and senior MLC informed the Council that the acquisition would result in the felling of 19 eucalyptus trees.

Further the Amendment allows the Government permission to use 2126.71 sq mts of Cubbon Park located between the Vidhana Soudha and the Karnataka High Court towards the East and another 11,160 sq mts towards the West. The Amendment also allows the BBMP to use 1,223 sq mts from the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park for road widening.

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