Is it really a win-win for “Metro”-displaced citizens?

Most papers today carried this piece on the front page. Here is the link for DH.

As the article claims…
// Those losing land to make way for the Bangalore Metro project may actually end up winning — the rehabilitation package approved by the re-constituted Board of the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) promises a win-win solution to about 1,500 property owners who will be affected by the project.

For residents, the compensation does not end with “the property and land valuation based on market rates”. The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC) is also planning to pay for the initial rent deposit if residential property owners are forced to take a house on rent, and any relocation expenses incurred in the first six months. //

Some good points are:
1. Preference for affected land owners during allotment process of the new sites
2. The offer to pay initial rent deposit for those who are forced to take houses on rent
3. “resettlement allowance” for first 6 months.

Some bad things are:
1. Whether your site location is prime or otherwise is not going to help in the evaluation process. Some will lose out in this process.
2. The “resettlement allowance” is based on the sales tax that has been paid to the government. :-) All of us know how true that picture is. Those who have been erratic are likely to be dented by this clause.

Overall, looks like the Government is committed to get this thing up and running in our city. The relocation policy that has been drafted looks citizen friendly. But there are caveats…

1. Rehabilitation of slum areas in apartments built nearby. As it has happened in Mumbai, it is likely to happen here as well. The slum dwellers, who get apartments, rent it out for some money and they themselves move out to another slum. This will not solve the problem of eradicating slums.
2. Corruption can really go up this large a scenario. One cannot just imagine what all can happen. Site allocation can be most impacted of all these.

Like they say, not all good things are completely good. Likewise, we cannot expect this development activity also to be completely good to everybody. Some will lose, some will gain. But in the larger interest of the city, this is a must have and therefore, it should progress.

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