NICE got extra land, says PWD note

NICE got extra land, says PWD note

 The State Public Works Department has admitted what Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has been vehemently denying all along: The Government has indeed handed over 554 acres of excess land for developing Peripheral Road on the outskirts of Bangalore under the controversial Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project.

In a nine-page agenda copy prepared for the meeting of 14th Empowered Committee on the BMIC project headed by the Chief Secretary, which was scheduled for April 15, the PWD has informed the Committee that excess land has been handed over. Moreover,  it has advised the committee not to hand over additional 776 acre private land for the section A of the project, as demanded by the project promoter, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE).

The agenda copy has been circulated among 13 top officials of the Government, including Chief Secretary S V Ranganath, who are the members of the committee. A copy of the agenda is available with Deccan Herald. The scheduled meeting was put off abruptly without citing any reason. The Committee was to discuss issues including handing over of the forest land to NICE.

“Of the 776 acres, 695 acres is coming under the Peripheral Road. We have already given 554 acre of excess land for the Peripheral Road. Hence, it is not justifiable to hand over another 695 acre of land,” the copy stated.

Quoting the Assignment and Development Agreement of 2002, signed between the company and the Government, the PWD said KIADB has already provided NICE with 2,743 acres for the 41-km Peripheral Road against 2,193 acres required. Except for an interchange at Bannerghatta road, the company has completed 41 km of peripheral road, the document stated. Section A of BMIC comprises 41-km Peripheral Road, 9.8-km Link Road, 13-km Express way and Township 1 at Bidadi. The promoter has already completed 8.1 km of Link Road and five km of Expressway, besides the Peripheral Road. Against the total land requirement of 6,142 acres for Section A, KIADB has already provided 6,469 acres.

The PWD informed the committee that the KIADB has issued preliminary notification for acquiring 12,637 acres for the toll road component of the project, though the actual requirement was only 6,999 acres. “This does not mean that the entire 12,637 acres of land notified for the toll road should be provided to the company,” it is stated. On providing NICE with 1,961 acres private land for the corporate town near Bidadi, the Committee has been advised that there is no need for hurry to hand over the land at this juncture. Quoting the Karnataka High Court judgement in this regard, the PWD has stated: “The townships can be developed only after expressway is completed.”

Contacted by Deccan Herald, NICE representative Manjunath Nayaker refused to react saying that these issues are before the court. Source said the government is not happy with the observations of the PWD and may not convene the meeting till May. R B Agawane, Principal Secretary of PWD is scheduled for retirement by May-end.