Govt now decides to bear PRR land cost

The 65-km road project will connect four highways — Tumakuru Road, Ballari Road, Old Madras Road and Hosur Road

After toying with several options, the Cabinet on Monday decided that the government should bear the full cost of land acquisition to kickstart the much-delayed peripheral ring road (PRR) project that promises to decongest Bengaluru.

The 65-km road project will connect four highways — Tumakuru Road, Ballari Road, Old Madras Road and Hosur Road — to create seamless connectivity with Kanakapura Road and Mysuru Road, two other major highways connecting Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

“The cost of building the road can be recovered through a toll, but the cost of land acquisition is too high, which is why the project was stalled. We tried novel ways, like town planning and land pooling, but nothing worked. It is inevitable for the PRR to be built so that government will bear the entire cost of land acquisition,” Law Minister Krishna Byre Gowda told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

The project requires 1,810 acres of land, which Gowda said will cost about Rs 4,500 crore. The lands were notified for acquisition back in 2005. The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 17,000 crore. “It is a tough decision to spare Rs 4,500 crore for land acquisition. No international agency is willing to pay for acquiring land. Also, we expected the Bharatmala project to cover it, but even that didn’t materialise.”

For the project cost, the government will approach the Japan International Cooperation Agency for a loan and explore a public-private partnership, Gowda said. “If PRR is done, a lot of the traffic that enters the city will be out.”

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