Back in Mr Sudhir Krishna's days, there used to be a buzz about BMRDA. Remember the talk of satellite towns, satellite town ring roads, and the 7 'proposed' satellite townships. Part of the buzz is back with Bidadi integrated township project. Mind you, its a PPP to develop a 9000+ acre township. Its like this, instead of getting BDA to do it, the state government will use a private party to develop an entire township. Given our state's track record on PPP, the project could be headed for controversies and chaos. Who will fix the price for land acquisition? What land use regulations will apply? Will land use regulations be followed better as a private party would be doing the work? What interest will the private party take to develop connectivity? Bidadi for example is 1 hour away from Bangalore, with no serious public transport corridor in place? Can we expect the developer to push for commuter rail, or Bus Rapid Transport corridor?
For starters, this is how the BMRDA brochure introduces the project:
BMRDA plans to develop the project on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis and wishes to select a Developer who would be responsible for infrastructure development, construction, marketing and operations and maintenance of the proposed township project.
Can we assume that "operations and maintenance" does not include amenities like distribution of water and power? What is the plan for water then? Left to BWSSB and state government, or will the developer have any role? Where will this additional water be sourced from?
BMRDA has published answers to questions asked by potential bidders. Lots of hints at potential future trouble there:
Q: Whether Environmental Clearance would be obtained by BMRDA itself for the project
A: The developer has to obtain Environmental Clearance from the Competent Authority.
What will it take to get environmental clearance for an "integrated township"? Would it require some sort of "sustenance plan", to show how water, waste, and power needs will be managed?
Q: Will Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) undertake land acquisition of private land for the BMRDA township project for and on behalf of the BMRDA?
KIADB to acquire land. Hmmm, time for Lokayukta to be ready :)
Q: Project Implementation Period is expected to be 2 years and realization Period, 5 years. Please clarify the meaning of ‘implementation’ and ‘realisation’.
A: The timelines for implementation and definition of the terms would be specified in the RFP stage.
Wonder what the realization period is.
The talk of "external infrastructure cost", sort of says that the developer would be 'forced' to use BESCOM, BWSSB etc :)
Q: What factors are included in external infrastructure cost?
A: External Infrastructure costs would include the services availed from agencies like BESCOM, BWSSB etc for providing utility upto the project site.
Now, on land use part:
Q: Will the land use pattern be as mentioned below Economic activities: 25%, Residential: 25%, Park and open spaces: 15%, Civic Amenity spaces: 10%, Others (Roads, Utilities etc.): 25%
A: Yes. The details would be as per G.O No.UDD 97 BMR 2006.
Q: Can the Zonal Planning Guidelines for the township by BMRDA be provided?
A: Broad guidelines are mentioned in Annexure-2 of G.O. No.UDD/97/BMR/2006 dated 18.10.2006. These guidelines would be part of Zoning Regulations of the Local Planning Area to be declared under the KTCP Act, 1961.
And then, to make the risk part of the PPP clear, here is this one:
Q: Can the copy of the Economic Feasibility study done by BMRDA be provided
A: No study has been conducted by BMRDA on economic feasibility.
Wonder what is the basis or justification for the project then? Its not an economic feasibility study for sure.
The good thing is, both the answers refer to the same planning document (G.O # 97 BMR 2006).
There is more material to read on BMRDA site if you are interested. the website is http://bmrda.kar.nic.in/