Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has given the go-ahead to the Karnataka government for using defence land for infrastructure projects in Bengaluru, with the condition that the city’s civic body, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), will speed up the process of providing alternative land to her ministry. The land provided to the ministry should be equivalent to the cost of defence land given for the infrastructure projects. The land spread over ten places, was very crucial for Bengaluru and negotiations in the past had not yielded result.
As a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka, the defence minister took the initiative to exchange the land. “We have agreed that the state government will give us equal value land. They will discuss in the cabinet meeting and give us a resolution that they will indeed give us the equal value land, which is by rule the defence requirement. However, I have very clearly instructed my ministry, to immediately allow construction and permission for work to happen,” Sitharaman said.
Located at 10 places, these parcels of defence land totally measure 55,819 sq metres. For eight projects, the government agreed to exchange defence land measuring 45,165. 84 sq metres, whose value is Rs 282.09 crores. The rest of the land would be taken on the ‘basis of licence’. The BBMP will provide 8,53,137.95 sq metres of land, worth Rs 488.42 crores. The land to be given to the defence establishment, comprises approximately 200 acres of its land at Anekal near Bengaluru city, Kensington Park and Kensington Road.
Chief minister HD Kumaraswamy expressed his gratitude to the centre, for giving permission to the BBMP to carry out the work. Bengaluru mayor R Sampath Raj, chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar and additional chief secretary Mahendra Jain, were also present on the occasion.