CM’s 1-lakh housing scheme ‘lands’ in trouble

The ambitious Chief Minister’s One-lakh Bengaluru Housing Scheme for the urban poor has been hit by snags, threatening to delay the project. About one-third of the lands identified by authorities for construction of houses in multi-storey buildings are either in dispute or are facing local opposition.

This was despite the fact that the lands identified were previously encroached upon and were reclaimed following the A T Ramaswamy report. But authorities are confident that the high-rises built using monolithic shear design will be completed within the next two years.

According to data submitted during a recent meeting on the project chaired by the Housing Minister V Somanna, of the 175 acre 34 guntas set aside for the construction of 26,102 houses in the first five packages, almost half of the extent of land faced some constraints. Apart from houses, the total of Rs 2,737.81 cr allotted for the scheme would also ensure all amenities such as roads, streetlights, rainwater harvesting and others in these residential complexes.

While 60 acre 11 guntas were under dispute due to court cases, construction was hampered on 25 acre 06 guntas land on account of temples and other structures of local importance located on the site.

In a few other cases, sites are yet to be handed over by Revenue Department, while in one case National Highway is expected to come up in the land identified. Forest department has also obstructed a project in Marenhalli village of Bengaluru North taluk.

The Rajiv Gandhi Housing Corporation Ltd (RGHCL) also faced problems in finding construction companies to take up the project.

“Not all companies have the machinery to build the 14-floor complexes. While there were bidders for five packages after tender premium rates were revised, there was only a single bidder for two remaining packages, forcing us to float a re-tender,” according to Sanna Chittiappa, Chief Engineer RGHCL.

He said the pending cases would be dismissed by the courts. “Even if the dispute drags on, we can shift the project to alternative land as the DC of Bengaluru Urban district has sanctioned 1,014 acres of land to RGHCL, he added.

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