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Actual facts of proposed Bangalore Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) — Rob everything from poor local farmer Suresh and 90 year old N Srinivasan to pay rich foreign “investor” who will take the money back to their country?

Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) and other flaws of modern foreign investor driven “development” in Bharat

Who are the potential losers in current model of “development”?

Story of 90 year old NS Srinivasan of Venktala

Site invested with lives savings acquired by PRR and no money to support wife with Alzheimer’s from personal savings

NS Srinivasan

Mr NS Srinivasan is 90 year old man who is looking after his wife who has Alzheimer’s. His life savings were invested in 1995 in 2 plots in Venkatala – and the Plots have been acquired for the PRR. He is in dire need of money.

He is willing to sell at 1/2 price but who will buy land that is under acquisition.  Besides to buy or sell land that is acquired is illegal.

Quotes from NS Srinivasan

Now nearing 90  with daughter and son settled in USA, to provide funds for wife”s home nursing, I have to dispose of all the plots but no distress selling.

I just want to tell you – that if you don’t press the urgency button nothing will happen

  1. You can’t sell the plots- it’s illegal
  2. Nobody will buy on plots that are under acquisition
  3. No banks with extend a loan on plots that are under acquisition.
  4. You can not expect that your children in the US will be able to come down and sort this issue if you haven’t been able to.
  5. Who will fund your wives home care if you are not there ?

Numerous letters by Prof Srinivasan to BDA go unanswered and unacknowledged

Story of Liza Home in Doddagubbi, home for more than 20 mentally and physically challenged women
 (https://lizashome.org/)

Overrun by proposed PRR and these unfortunate residents will not have a home anymore

Dr. Molly Abraham

Email: abrahamkcster@gmail.com,

Liza’s Home, Near Nandini Farm, Doddagubbi P.O., Bangalore – 560077.

Ph: (off) 080-29736769, Ph: (Mob) +91-8971103720

Liza’s Home is a residential care facility for women with mental and physical disabilities. The centre was started in the late 1980’s in Bangalore, India by Dr. Molly Abraham in the name of her daughter Liza.

Liza was diagnosed with meningitis in her early infancy which left her brain-injured. She developed severe mental and physical disabilities. Dr Molly established the Home, with support from her husband (Late) Rev. Dr. K C Abraham and other well wishers. Thus, Liza became the ray of hope and God used her disability to give birth to this beautiful Home which serves many women who had once lost hope.

At present, women between the age of 19 years and 61 years, who live at the Home with varied level of mental and physical disabilities, and who come from challenging socio-economic backgrounds.

Liza’s Home is a registered charitable trust dedicated towards sustaining community-based care and upholding the rights of disabled women, and is supported by individual donors and independent well-wishers.

Liza’s Home is in an idyllic environment. If PRR acquires this land, it will become very difficult to purchase a new piece of land and construct the necessary infra-structure. This will also take a long time – may be 2 to 3 years. Where will the 20 plus members go during this period?

Many of our members do not have parents, and, some members have no family support at all. Hence the disabled members of Liza’s Home will be put under severe stress and manifold misery.

Founders of Liza Home

Physically and Mentally Challenged Residents of Liza Home

 

Story of Suresh of Varthur

Small holder farmer

+91-99865-04553

He and his brother and families live on 2 acres of land; the entire portion will be wiped out by PRR.  They are small farmers and have put their heart and soul into their land since generations.

Suresh and his two brothers with their families, a total of 9 members, live together in a 2 acre land holding in Sorahinase village in east Bengaluru.  They grow vegetables for the city and are entirely dependent on the land, except for Suresh who works in the maintenance department of a hospital.  Their entire small holding is notified for the PRR.  They will not only lose their house but their livelihood as well.

Problems with the Peripheral Ring Road (PRR)

Environmentally a disaster

Destroying lakes, stormwater drains and destroying livelihoods of tens of thousands and displacing more than 100000 people, and officially destroying more than 33000 trees many of which are on the heritage biodiversity list.

Refer to Dhyan BA objection on environmental grounds in writing to the BDA (file 20200810 Dhyan BA Environmental Public hearing Objections to Peripheral Ring Road(PRR) Bangalore.pdf).

Doddagubbi Lake given below will cease to exist if PRR ever comes to reality since main stormwater drains into Doddagubbi lake will be permanently closed and have even been maliciously concealed as not existing in the CDP 2031.

Some extracts from above objection:

The PRR passes along 6 lakes (page 79). Study of the present land use shows that “the land is predominantly covered with cultivated land (26.15%) followed by plantation (22.92%)…

Plantation activities include banana, coconut, arecanut, teak, eucalyptus etc. and floriculture is also observed in the area” (page 97). The environment will be completely and irreparably destroyed by building the PRR. The area will be stripped of its pristine environment, its cultivable assets, its flora and fauna, fisheries etc.

FELLING OF 33,838 TREES WILL BE A GIGANTIC LOSS TO THE ENVIRONMENT OF BENGALURU WHICH WILL BECOME A DUST BOWL AND A HOT ISLAND

The felling of 33,838 trees will take place to accommodate the PRR. This will have a disastrous effect on the environment of Bengaluru. The Report suggests compensatory afforestation as a mitigation measure (page 178). This involves planting of saplings and transplantation of

trees (page 148). Both these measures are highly problematic. Planting of saplings in lieu of trees felled has been an abject failure in earlier projects. Besides, the saplings, if at all they take root, will take two decades to become full-grown trees. During this period, the environment will be highly compromised. Uprooting and transplanting trees is an expensive and arduous process. Only endangered species of trees will be transplanted. This removal of the trees will have a disastrous effect on the environment of Bengaluru.

THE POPULATION AFFECTED BY THE PRR IS UNDERESTIMATED. IT IS ONE MILLION.

On page 178, the Table 7.4 shows that the “projected population for 2021 is 7.4 lakh”. It also states on page 176 that “villages that fall under 19 BBMP wards was not included due to unavailability of Census data of previous decades.” It may be assumed that the density of the

BBMP wards is higher than the outlying villages; hence a population of one million affected may be projected for 2021.

Financially a disaster and filled with malfeasances

How a project conceived in 2004 can be relevant in 2021?

After Covid crisis, the scenario has changed. Work from home has become the trend for IT/BT/tech companies and many IT/BT companies plan to make this permanent.

People are leaving Bangalore and returning to their hometowns and work from home has increased with people even working from Kodagu where they have a good internet connection.  Most real estate developers are in serious crisis since office leases are not being renewed for large volumes by IT/BT companies the main consumers of real estate in Bangalore.  Many PGs in the main IT/BT areas of Bangalore have shut down permanently and in some cases the PG owners have abandoned their PGS and not paid rental dues to landlords who probably built their PGs on borrowed money and depended on EMIS to pay of their loans.

Traffic has come down in Bangalore since 2020, and traffic projections of PRR need to be done again since world-wide work from home has become a permanent thing now especially for Tech companies.

Special mention is CRISIL report done in 2012.

Attention is brought to page 13 and 14 about proposed revenues — the revenues forecast are only 151 crores per year as of 2012 report — then on what basis do they plan to spend more than Rs 20000 crores in 2021. This project will never make money at todays inflation adjusted costs.

We should also bring up proposed global “investor” and ask court to order inquiry into credentials and also ask court to order govt not to give a project like PRR to shady unknown companies with not even a website in their name that are basically recycling politicians black money and promoting their property and assets along PRR and a pretext to acquire more land in the investors companies name once the PRR is started to be built.

The BOT and PPP contract for PRR should only be given to reputed and established firms with established credentials and not shady firms with no past credentials and just set up as shady fronts for other shady politicians and bureaucrats.

Also in the Crisil report annuity period is only 20 years, all across India for most BOT projects time given is maximum 30 years and that to after extensive establishment and verification of credentials.

In case of PRR, Bangalore they plan BOT for 50 years and that to shady recently established firms with no financial strength or established credentials or not even a website.

Legally a nightmare

There is a PIL in Karnataka High Court and about 25 Writ Appeals in the High Court.

The PIL was dismissed in Sept 2021 without being heard to its full merits.

The BDA are planning to acquire another 750 acres and that has not happened.

BDA have to re-do the Public hearing and get fresh Environmental clearances and that they have not done.

They have to pay the land losers and that they have not done.

They say they have international funding and there has been no MOU signed. They keep the project alive by issuing press releases from time to time.

The Cases last came up in April and the BDA lawyer did not show up.

So many land & home losers have been made to suffer for so many years – living under the threat of losing the roof over their heads or the only asset they own – their lands (2005 – 2021)

Administratively under the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) a known den of corruption and malfeasance

Originally conceived as a real estate project to displace locals by threats and intimidation and enrich builders and crooked politicians and bureaucrats

Check out the real owners, not just benami owners of all properties within 4 km radius of the Peripheral Ring Road that were bought after the BDA CDP 1995 was announced in 1997 when the Peripheral ring road was first announced in a CDP.

How many of these properties changed hands since 1997 and how many now actually belong to crooked politicians and crooked bureaucrats? How many of these companies which are developing the properties have benami and FII holders of shady politicians and bureaucrats have actual shares of these real estate companies?

Why despite huge environmental violations and manipulation of CDP 2031 including concealing of important stormwater drains near the PRR in maps of Doddagubbi, is the government still bent ahead on pushing the PRR project?

The lead proposed investor of the PRR in this project does not even have a website. We cannot find their credentials anywhere in India about building a road of the scale of PRR. 

Why do we have to go to unknown foreign investors who are a front for some local politicians and others and why cannot we approach known established Indian BOT providers like L&T, GMR Group, Gayatri Projects etc who won’t touch this project since they know it is not financially viable.

We have a strong case to cancel the entire PRR on grounds of malfeasance and corruption alone if someone is willing to undertake an investigation into the above issues.  This happened even before the PRR was built, you can imagine what will happen if the PRR is implemented.

High Degree of Vulnerability of the Land losers

The Draft EIA Report points out that the majority of the population on the alignment is involved in agriculture and related activities.  It says that “Agriculture/farming is the sole source of livelihood for the survey households.”  Growing of cereals, vegetables, horticulture and commercial crops like teak, eucalyptus and floriculture are the mainstay of the people.  On page 179, the Report says, “Majority of the population in the area owns a tenement to live in.  They have access to basic amenities such as protected drinking water, electric power, education and health care”.  It continues on the same page, “The people are involved in various cultural activities and traditional practices such as local jatras, harvest festivals etc.”

It is this comfortable but highly vulnerable population, numbering 1 million people that the PRR is going to displace.  It is going to dispossesses them of their land, houses, livelihood, culture and traditions.  Most of the farmers have small holdings of 5 acres and less.  Given the mammoth proportions of the Road, many of them will be rendered landless. The Report candidly states, “Many PAPs (Project Affected Persons) will lose full land to PRR and become landless” (page 181). Another aspect is that 82.51% belong to the Backward Castes (page 178). Listing the negative impact of the PRR, the Report nonchalantly states, “The negative impact would primarily be in the form of loss of livelihood, housing, access to common property resources and disturbance in the existing social fabric of the people living and working along the corridor.” In addition, the proposed Road has already caused fragmentation and dissension among the people of the 67 villages as the land owner by the side of the road stands to gain while the land loser does not.

Given that BDA does not have a good track record of R & R, Bengaluru is going to be the site of much suffering if the Road development does indeed take place.

The Project Affected People have already been through much suffering due to the long delay.  The Report notes on page 181, “They were unable to transact or build on the land; psychological stress has developed among the Project-Affected-Persons due to delay”.

The road brings connectivity but for whom?  It is envisaged for cars to speed through.  It will symbolize the sacrifice of the poor for the comfort of the rich and further the rising inequality in the City and its periphery.

The PRR will bring a tsunami of destruction in its wake.

The Population Affected by The PRR is Underestimated.  It Is One Million.

On page 178 of the Draft EIA Report, the Table 7.4 shows that the “projected population for 2021 is 7.4 lakh”.  It also states on page 176 that “villages that fall under 19 BBMP wards was not included due to unavailability of Census data of previous decades.”  It may be assumed that the density of the BBMP wards is higher than the outlying villages; hence a population of one million affected may be projected for 2021.

 

 

 

The way forward

Implement the recommendations given by enlightened concerned citizens in Sept 2015 to Chief Minister

Implement the recommendations given by enlightened concerned citizens of Representation protesting lack of any meaningful public consultation, and violation of significant constitutional provisions of Government of Karnataka, by the Bangalore Development Authority in the process of formulation of the Revised Comprehensive Development Plan of Bangalore – 2015.  Refer to representation made by concerned citizens to Chief Minister in 2015.

Implement the 73rd and 74th constitution amendments which are constitutionally mandated

Since the 73rd and 74th constitution amendments have mandated that the Panchayats and  Municipalities are the only local self-governments which should take up the functions, which includes planning, in the respective jurisdictional areas. The Village Panchayats and Municipalities must be endowed with their powers and functions as enshrined in the Constitution. Refer to the resolution passed by Kannur, Doddagubbi and Chikkagubbi panchayats.

Follow the Amsterdam model of planning

Follow the Amsterdam model of planning, where the outer boundary of the city is fixed permanently for posterity by a permanent minimum 5km wide green belt outside city limits and any further development of the city is done by:

  • Increasing density of FAR inside the city limits.
  • Increasing high frequency and high-density public transport like buses and trams.
  • Heavy congestion fee on motorised vehicles, especially four wheeled vehicles.
  • Promotion of bicycle transport by provision of bicycle friendly lanes and bicycle infrastructure.
  • Improvement of public safety measures and strong policing so that the above recommendations can be implemented.

Abolish the BDA and investigate all senior bureaucrats and politicians who controlled the BDA since 1995 for corruption

Recover the proceeds of this manipulation from them and send them to life imprisonment with capital punishment if they have caused the deaths or suicides of people due to their malfeasance.

Have a metropolitan govt for Bangalore area

For more on recommendation this see article by V Balasubramanian, former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.

Annexure – To save boom town, A metropolitan govt for Bengaluru, Deccan Herald SEP 01 2018

Restoration of Storm Water Drains key to city’s survival

For more on recommendation this see article by V Balasubramanian, former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka.

Annexure  – Restoration of SWDs key to city’s survival, SEP 30 2018, Deccan Herald

Introduce GIS Blockchain Digital Currency for all transactions in Bharat

Abolish all cash and make cash illegal with strict penalties.

For more about why this should be done read my book Arya Dharma especially the article

Concept note about Bharat Coin, a GIS Blockchain Digital Currency for Bharat

Abolish outdated 19th century Western France, UK, USA (FUKUS) inspired systems of “Capitalism” and “Democracy” which are proven failure

Return to roots of Bharat for economy and democracy which made Bharat historically the wealthiest nation for millennia. Based on our heritage which brought real Ram Rajya  as the foundation, adopt modern updates like Edemocracy and Rising Tide Production by the Masses Socialist Capitalism to ensure that even the ½ acre farmer and landless labourer has a voice and share in the development of Bharat and is not left to the mercy of sharks like current outdated FUKUS methods.

For more about why this should be done and the entire path forward towards real Ram Rajya read my book Arya Dharma – (Noble Dharma) – A better way by a unique combination of our heritage, spirituality and current affairs by going back to the future and restoring the glory of Bharat(India) by returning to its ideals of Dharma and Seva.

All articles have the latest updates at this location.  (https://aryadharma.world/articles/)

 

Annexures:

This article and Annexures are uploaded in digital form to https://bit.ly/3nz3s6f. Translation to Kannada is being done to reach a wider audience.

 Kannur, Doddagubbi and Chikkagubbi panchayats petition to BDA in June 2012

Dhyan BA objection to CDP 2031 dated 29/10/2018

Dhyan BA objection to PRR in environmental public hearing dated 8/10/2020

CRISIL report done in 2012

Annexure – To save boom town, A metropolitan govt for Bengaluru, Deccan Herald SEP 01 2018

Annexure  – Restoration of SWDs key to city’s survival, SEP 30 2018, Deccan Herald

Arya Dharma – (Noble Dharma)

Globalisation

The true meaning of Development

Article on whether it is right to endlessly trust our roads as a way to our future by noted artist CF John
The trodden paths al(on)g high-definition roads.

 

I used to live in Kammanahally in the 1990’s, when the outer ring road was being constructed. With a sense of achievement (as the city is progressing) woven with certain uneasiness I watched stages of its construction. Site engineers marked the terrain as per the drawing on paper, battalion of workers took their positions filling, erasing, cutting down and bulldozing. Once the road was done and opened for the traffic, it was like a sluice opened. Vehicles start flowing on top gear as the water gushes out from the dam reservoir.

I was shocked to see what followed in the next few months. Most of the days I used to see two to four dogs crushed under the wheels of speeding vehicles. The ring road was cut through the territory or home space of those dogs and the dogs were not in a position to negotiate with the speeding vehicles.

Even we, with our long associations with the roads of modern times, have not really learned to make the necessary negotiations. The statistics show around 1.2 million people die every year in India in road accidents and three times more remain fatally injured. There is a big divide between our living culture of streets and the traffic that runs through it. In fact to say further there is also a big divide between the mind of people who drive in the vehicle and the mind the vehicle demands.

With our increased dependence on machinery, we justify it by saying that the time ‘saved’ can be used to efficiently deploy our knowledge and skills. But that knowledge finds its right meaning and purpose only when we immerse ourselves in the reality of life. What end do we hope to find without a journey? I heard someone asking, what would be the implications of instant noodles taking five minutes to prepare instead of two? So is also with our travel. We are endlessly trusting on our roads as a way to the future. We believe that better speed is equal to a better future.

Now we are in the process of building our PRR (Peripheral Ring Road). If we talk to the residents, and the BBMP and BWSSB ground level officers would know how the changing climate turns upside down the human life alone, leave alone all other life forms that support our lives. A few days of additional rains or no rains would cause a flood of grievances. We still trust in an aggressive form of development, and believe with our developed knowledge and systems we can resolve all our issues. We still trust better roads and drains and painting pictures on the walls would make our life beautiful.

In the context of the ecological rift that we face today threatening our common existence, regardless of class, caste, and language, probably the most important meaning of life would be to envision a better coexistence with the terrains on which we live. Our current, over-indulgent push for development is suicidal and an unethical practice which we would have to answer for.

Are we not pushing all these at an edge when the world is preparing to go slow, as an inevitable step? We may be preparing ourselves to cook our own food, a slow food. We may be preparing ourselves to travel slow, so that we can cherish the land and communities we travel through. We may be preparing to whisper into our wounds, and to hold a gratitude for the body that works persistently to heal even when we are asleep.

C.F. John

January 2022