BENGALURU: Acquiring land to create infrastructure for Phase-I of the Metro project was a contentious and costly exercise for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRCL). Litigation ran into many years and a huge compensation of over Rs 2,000 crore had to be paid to government departments and owners of about 315 acres of private property acquired for the 42.3-km project.
The total project cost came to Rs 13,685 crore and it took 11 years to complete. The saving grace for BMRCL was that it had notified all the required land well before the new legislation passed by the state government -- the Right for Fair Compensation in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2014 which jacked up compensation rates enormously.
Speaking to Express, M S Channappa Goudar, General Manager, Land Acquisition, said the total amount paid by BMRCL as compensation was Rs 2,061.62 crore for 1,070 properties of which private owners were paid a whopping Rs 1,526.11 crore. “The single largest payment of Rs 60 crore was made to the owners of Plaza Cinema, which was required for one of the entrances of M G Road Metro station,” he said.
The owners of the 1,600 sq m plot of Plaza Cinema were among those who put up tremendous resistance initially to part with their land. Most of them gradually agreed to part with their properties but a few including Shravani Properties Pvt Ltd (Plaza Cinema) challenged the acquisition of the prime land of this 70-year-old building for the Metro project. The court ruled in Metro’s favour on April 10, 2015.
BMRCL also had to fight and win two cases in the High Court. “One of these cases was filed in November 2006 by the Traders Association of Chinmaya Hospital Road (CMH Road) who were not willing to give up their properties,” Goudar said.
The traders feared their businesses would be impacted in a big way and wanted the Metro alignment to be changed to Old Madras Road instead of CMH Road.
The other case was fought by two property owners, including a hotel, who wanted high compensation to give up their land for the Krishna Rajendra Market Metro station. They demanded compensation as per the new Act. Metro finally paid them Rs 10 crore.
Though Metro’s projects are funded by the Centre, State and international lending agencies, the compensation package is borne by the state government and routed through Metro with the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board handing over the amount.
Meanwhile, the fat payouts that Metro needs to make for acquiring properties for its Phase-II work due to the increase in guidance value fixed has made owners more than willing to give up their properties.
Flagging off at 6pm
The venue and time for President Pranab Mukherjee to declare open the stretch between Sampige Road and Yelachenahalli were finalised on Thursday. According to sources, a grand function is likely to be held at the Vidhana Soudha from 6 pm.
Earlier in the day, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety K A Manoharan, who had given the authorisation to BMRCL to run the stretch, handed over a formal letter to the Director (Systems) of Metro.