BENGALURU: Without any fanfare and recording the first such act, 84-year-old A Muni Reddy and his four sons have performed a laudable gesture for Namma Bengaluru. The family has donated its prime land on Hosur Main Road, with a market value of Rs 3 crore, towards one of the Metro lines of the upcoming Phase-II project.
Nearly 268 square metres of land in Bommanahalli has been handed over to the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for its 18.8-km R.V. Road-Bommanahalli Line (Reach-5).The parcel of land is located near the family’s own property here, AMR Tech Park, which has been rented out to 15 high-end offices and IT firms that employ nearly 10,000 staff.
This gesture appears all the more commendable as chunks of land for Phase-II are yet to be acquired because some land owners have taken BMRCL to court demanding higher compensation than the generous sums offered while a few have outright refused to part with their properties and have also taken the litigation route.
The cost of the 72.1 km Phase-II has recently been upgraded to Rs 32,000 crore from the initial estimate of Rs 26,405 crore largely due to high land acquisition costs.
The Oxford College Metro station will come up in the vicinity of this parcel of land owned by Reddy which was to be passed over to his sons: M Ramesh, M Babu Reddy, M Nagabhushan and M Lokesh.
Speaking to The New Indian Express on behalf of the family, Reddy’s oldest grandson R Prashanth said, “When BMRCL intimated to the family that this portion of land was required for their Reach-5 Line, my grandfather suggested that we could hand it over free of cost as our contribution towards the city’s development. The rest unanimously agreed.”
The family’s ancestors hail from Karnataka and the vast agricultural land they bequeathed to Reddy helped the members venture into the construction business and acquire wealth, he added.Architect B Sharath, another grandson said, “When the Metro line becomes operational, everyone stands to benefit. As the Oxford College station will be just near our Tech Park, the employees will have easy connectivity to their work place. I will personally benefit too as I have my office within its premises.”
More than the benefits, Muni Reddy’s personality seems to be the reason behind the donation. “My grandfather has always been service-minded. He served as the president of the Hongasandra gram panchayat from 1957 to 1982 and has helped many families,” Sharath said.The family has made only one request to BMRCL — to take care that the constructed portion does not block the entrance of the Tech Park.“BMRCL informed us there was no proposal in their original plan to have any construction in front of its entrance,” Prashanth added.
M S Channappa Goudar,General Manager, Land Acquisitions Cell, said BMRCL had already taken possession of the property. “It was a real surprise when the family handed over the land and the family members did not want any compensation. This kind of support helps us reduce a little of our project cost. We hope big establishments emulate it.”