'Nice got land 9 times more than required'

'Nice got land 9 times more than required'

T J Abraham, an activist who has alleged large-scale irregularities in the execution of the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, on Thursday submitted to the Lokayukta Court that under the original agreement, the total land that was required for the peripheral road and the expressway to Mysore was 20,193 acres.

 

But the State set up the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Area Planning Authority (BMICAPA) and installed Ashok Kheny on the Board, even though he had no right to be there. 

“He, along with D K Shivakumar, then decided that the total land that had to be acquired for the project  was 1.75 lakh acres,” Abraham submitted.  

Further, he alleged that C R Ramesh, who was then PWD Secretary, wrote to other departments on behalf of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (Nice) demanding land in specific areas. While a Cabinet meeting note states that around 5,850 acres were supposed to receive stamp duty exemption, Ramesh in his capacity as Secretary deleted the para which specified the amount of land receiving the exemption, leaving the impression that Nice would be getting stamp duty exemption on all the land. 

Abraham alleged that Ramesh after setting the affairs of Nice in order, took voluntary retirement from government service and joined Nice as the director. Abraham also submitted that the act of former chief minister H D Deve Gowda and his Cabinet approving a pact with a company at face value without checking its antecedents or financial capability, had resulted in the plundering of wealth in the State. 

The submissions will continue on Friday. 

The complaint lists 102 people as accused, including former prime minister H D Deve Gowda, former chief ministers, S M Krishna, N Dharam Singh, H D Kumaraswamy, B S Yeddyurappa, Congress leaders Siddaramaiah, R V Deshpande, D K Shivakumar, Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (Nice) Ashok Kheny, CMD of Bharath Forge Baba Kalyani and then Chairman of ICICI Narayan Vagul and former governor of Massachusetts, USA, William Weld. 

About 57 IAS officers are also listed as accused in the complaint.

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