BENGALURU: High drama prevailed on the beginning of the month outside the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) head office at Kumara Park West when hundreds of farmers sat on an indefinite dharna for two days and blocked surrounding roads, demanding a fair compensation deal for 1,810 acres of their land that has been earmarked for the upcoming Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project.
Repeated pleas and assurances by BDA Commissioner GC Prakash that their problems will have a solution by January 31 forced protesters to reluctantly leave for their villages.
January 31 marked the promised deadline and no package has been offered to the farmers for the Rs 11,950-crore project. The BDA commissioner refused to answer repeated calls and messages, when The New Indian Express contacted him seeking his response.
A top government source said that the compensation could not be finalised as Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was busy finalising his Cabinet. “Our package needs the seal of approval of the CM and so it could not meet the deadline,” the official added.
Officials refused to share details on the compensation package until the chief minister gives the green signal.
Around 15 years ago, nearly 4,000 landowners across 67 villages on the outskirts of Bengaluru were told by the state government that they had to part with their lands to relieve traffic congestion through this 65.5km road. Land acquisition is yet to begin as the land losers are demanding a higher package than originally promised.
Special Land Acquisitions Officer K Mathai said, “In the last two months, 42 staffers including officials from the survey department, BDA and police were involved in surveying the land. We are extremely serious about it. 99 per cent of the work is completed. A few problems cropped up at Adur and TK Halli,” the officer added. “The surveyors are performing a tough field job. Some land losers have not allowed them to perform their job and are also threatening them. Hence, we had to seek police help. Adur police helped us with a solution and our people were allowed continue their job,” Mathai said. Farmer representatives could not be contacted.
The eight-lane road will encircle the Outer Ring Road and connect Tumakuru Road and Hosur Road. It is aimed at providing seamless connectivity to IT hubs and residential areas including Whitefield, Sarjapura, Kempegowda International Airport, Varthur and Hosakote.