End of gridlock, Bengaluru RS MP Nirmala Sitharaman’s gift to city

BENGALURU: In a major relief to citizens of the 'traffic' gridlocked city of Bengaluru, the defence ministry  agreed to transfer 210 acres  to the city for 10 major infrastructure projects that have been pushed into cold storage for years.  Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman – also the Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka – on Saturday agreed to transfer the defence land to help residents of the IT capital end travel time.

“As agreed earlier, the state government has agreed to transfer its lands of equal value Rs 322 crore and size to the defence ministry in lieu of defence lands in 31 locations", a joint declaration by Sitharaman and Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said. Road widening works, flyovers, elevated corridors and the second phase of the Metro Rail network across the city are some of the projects for which defence land acquisition was necessary.

Both sides agreed on the way forward and the State Government has committed to providing suitable, equal value land for defence in lieu of the defence land being transferred for these public infrastructure projects in a time bound manner.
While conveying working permission for these works, Ms. Sitharaman advised the State Government to get a Cabinet Resolution to commit to the decisions in order to ensure that the Army’s requirements in lieu of its parting with its lands in the interest of public infrastructure works was compensated adequately in a defined time frame. The state government agreed to the suggestion.

Issues raised by the army with regard to occupation of its lands by different agencies also came up for discussion. It was decided to set up a Task Force of officers to resolve these issues expeditiously.  Land issues relating to the Bangalore Metro would be similarly addressed between the agencies concerned in the months ahead. The defence ministry agreed to swap its land in public interest as they were required for 10 infrastructure projects. A joint task force with officials from the defence ministry and the state government will be set up to resolve issues related to the land swap and use.

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