Protests by Sarjapura Road residents notwithstanding, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike hopes to start the road widening work between Iblur and Carmelaram junctions before March 15.
The reason that the BBMP is in such a tearing hurry are the upcoming Assembly elections. The model of conduct – which will kick in immediately after the Election Commission announces the election dates – prohibits any new project to be announced or undertaken.
Political circles are agog that the EC will announce sometime after March 15.
The BBMP has completed all formalities to widen the 4.74-km stretch from a width of 80 feet to that of 160 feet. It claims it has finalized the bidder. The civic body owns 1.5 km of the stretch and will begin work on it as soon as possible; the remaining portion will be completed as and when a deal is struck with the 248 residents who are opposed to the project. The residents have been demanding compensation according to the Metro model, which pays the market rate (it is currently Rs 12,500 per sqft in that area), but BBMP has offered Transferable Development Rights, which works out to around Rs 2,500 per sqft.
Although the project was proposed under the Revised Master Plan (RMP) released in 2015, it could not take off due to resistance from local residents.
The stretch currently sees massive traffic congestion throughout the day. Once the road is widened, it will benefit techies living/working in Sarjapura, Iblur, Whitefield and even Koramangala.
A BBMP official told Bangalore Mirror: “The government has given its nod and the bidder has been finalized. We have been instructed to issue the work order soon. As part of the formalities, we will hold the foundation laying ceremony before March 15. As we hold 40 percent of the land along the stretch, we will start work there. Once the property owners’ dispute is over, we will move further to work along the remaining part,” he said.