The Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) has become a white elephant for the state governments over the years and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA). So much so that BDA officials also opine that the cabinet approval that has been sought again, is just an eyewash.
A senior BDA official who did not want to be named told The New Indian Express that the cabinet has given the approval without any proper plan for land acquisition and no funds are available with BDA. Earlier, when H D Kumaraswamy was the CM, he had announced that every year Rs 1,000 crore will be released to BDA for land acquisition. However, the BDA officials state that so far no amount has been deposited.
“The cabinet has given the approval for going ahead with PRR with JICA funds, but as per many discussions with JICA, they will give the funds only when land acquisition has been completed. This being the case, there seems to be no light ahead for the PRR,” the official said.
Also, with the no funds or a limited amount, BDA is unable to acquire land for the PRR. The state government had earlier decided to acquire the 1,810 acres of land in parts, instead of one go, only because of the financial constraints. But the land losers were not convinced as they did not trust the BDA or the state government with the project. Now, the BDA has no funds to acquire the land in one go.
“With this being the case, now BDA is back to square one. Unless there are funds available with the authority, land acquisition cannot be done and the project cannot start. The delay is also escalating the project cost. The farmers are no more keen on the old guidance value of 2014 or even 2016. They want land on the present rate. This will only escalate the cost,” the official said.
However, BDA Commissioner G C Prakash said the government is keen on the project and will ensure there are funds.
According to BDA and the state government, the PRR stretching 65 kms will need 1,810 acres of land. In 2016, the BDA had assessed the project cost to be Rs 11,950 crore, of which Rs 8,190 crore will be needed for land acquisition. The state government in the cabinet said, the government will spend Rs 3,850 crore for developing the road.