Three months later, the state government framed new rules for TDR. Nagaraj’s life turned upside down
G Nagaraj, a landowner in Kothanur, surrendered 70,000 sqft of his land for a road-widening project connecting Hennur and Kempegowda International Airport in 2015. Though it was farmland, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike agreed to give him 1.5 times of floor area as compensation under the old transferable development rights (TDR). That was in December 2016.
Three months later, the state government framed new rules for TDR. Nagaraj’s life turned upside down. His attempts to get development right certificates for the surrendered land (on which a road has already been laid) has been in vain.
“BBMP officials tell me that I will be compensated under the new rules. But the issue is that they now consider my land as agriculture property. Therefore, the compensation value is far less,” he said. The new rules offer two times the extent of land surrendered as development rights.
Ever since the new TDR rules (with revised compensation for land losers in government projects) came into existence, property owners like Nagaraj have been left in the lurch. Ambiguity over fixing a value for the surrendered land has been a major issue. The old TDR had made zonewise classification of land and the compensation amount was fixed accordingly. Under the new TDR rules, landowners are facing a threat of losing their high-value land for a song.
In Kothanur, through which the widened road passes, landowners say that the guidance value for non-agriculture land is fixed at Rs 4,000 per sqft while that of agricultural land is Rs 440 per sqft. Going by this calculation, if TDR is implemented with retrospective effect, the compensation will be a tenth of what farmers like Nagaraj were promised.
TP Nagesh, a resident of Byrathi who too surrendered 24,000 sqft of his agriculture land, said, “I surrendered a portion of my property to the BBMP in 2012 but haven’t got development rights certificate (DRC) till now. Though my land falls within BBMP limits and I pay all taxes to the corporation, I am told I would be given compensation according to the ‘agriculture land’ category. The rules lack clarity and I am thinking of moving the court.”
In July 2017, the BBMP issued a notification announcing the acquisition in four villages along the Iblur junction-Sarjapur Road for another road-widening project. The BBMP’s compensation under new TDR rules has irked landowners here too.
Taking note of the high compensation offered by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) for its projects, land losers on Sarjapur Road are now questioning the disparity in compensation between government agencies within BBMP limits.
BV Ramachandra Reddy, a retired structural engineer whose land has been notified for the Sarjapur Roadwidening project, said that with no takers for DRC due to a fall in the real estate sector, house owners who have lost their property are struggling.
“The compensation offered under the new TDR rules is of no use. With no market for DRC, how can people even sell the development rights to builders and make alternative arrangements for accommodation?” he wondered. He demanded that the compensation offered under TDR be on par with BMRCL’s compensation, failing which landowners will prefer cash compensation under the Land Acquisition Act over TDR.