Finally, Law Dept breaks silence on NICE

The law applies to all, says the dept after 4 years
Last Updated : 01 February 2010, 19:39 IST

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A day after Deccan Herald reported about  the Law Department turning a deaf ear to the Bangalore Mysore

Infrastructure Corridor Area Planning Authority (BMICAPA) seeking legal opinion on whether the BMIC project required approval or not, a letter from the department to BMICAPA dated January 28, 2010 observed that “the law applies to all persons.”

Finally, in a two-page reply to the BMICAPA’s half a dozen letters, the Law Department has said that any organisation or individual should seek the planning authority’s approval before taking up any activity under Sections 15 and 17 of
the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act.

Betterment fee

The BMICAPA had written over half a dozen letters to the Law Department since 2006 seeking its opinion on the issue. Besides, it also wanted to know whether Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) the project promoter was exempted from paying the betterment fee. Any person developing a piece of land should pay fee to the planning authority, as per the KTCP Act.

The BMIC project is already underway and nearly 50 km of road has been developed by the promoter on the outskirts of Bangalore. The NICE, on its part, has maintained that the Supreme Court had exempted the project from the planning authority’s approval.

On betterment fee, NICE has replied that the exemption has been given to the company in the framework agreement. Moreover, the total fee amount would run to several hundreds of crores if it was imposed on the project, it said.

‘Examine court orders’

The department has further advised the BMICAPA to ask the promoter to furnish copies of Court orders and examine them before taking any action. “If you find any difficulty in reading the Court orders, then refer them to the department,” it stated.

As per the advise, on January 30, the BMICAPA wrote to NICE directing it to submit the Court orders so that it can process its application on sanctioning the betterment fee exemption.

The BMICAPA, official sources said is finalising its revised Master Plan 2021, but is hamstrung by not having the official plan of the BMIC project coming up in its jurisdiction. “Unless the promoter submits the project plan which is verified through physical survey of areas, the project cannot be included in the Master Plan,” sources said.

In the absence of approved project plan, the BMICAPA is finding it tough to carve out various zones like residential, industrial and agricultural zone its its area. The BMICAPA includes over 1.5 lakh acres land in Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagara, Mandya and Mysore districts.

Published 01 February 2010, 19:31 IST

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