NICE demand for 776 acres rejected

NICE demand for 776 acres rejected

The PWD in a 13-page letter dated May 26, 2010, addressed to the managing director of NICE, said the company was obligated to provide the project information in view of the Supreme Court directing the State Government to file a status report in eight weeks (by July 2nd week).

The letter, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, is signed by R B Agawane who retired as Principal Secretary, PWD on May 31, has raised eyebrows both in official and political circles amid allegations that the Government is soft-pedalling on many issues connected with the project.

In his letter, Agawane has countered the company’s argument on many key issues, including handing over of 776 acres land (near Bangalore) for the peripheral road component under Section A of the project - peripheral road (41 km), link road (9.8 km), express way (13 km) and township 1.

He has also disclosed that the Government has already given 554 acres of excess land for peripheral road. The contentious 776 acres includes 695 acres of private land. The officer said land required for the construction of 41 km of peripheral road is about 800 acres. But the company in its affidavit filed before the Karnataka High Court in the Somashekar Reddy case, had prescribed 2,193 acres keeping in mind all infrastructure and developmental activities. And the HC has subsequently upheld it.

The Government, according to Agawane, has already given 2,743 acre for the Peripheral road. “Therefore, providing 695 acres of private land in and around peripheral road for the purpose stated does not consider any merit and taking land for the purpose other than  averred within Bangalore urban jurisdictions defies the otherwise well (sic) intentions of the company,” he noted in reply to the company’s argument that it wants the 776 acres for taking up infrastructure and development activities.

Agawane further revealed that the KIADB has notified 12,637 acres for the toll road against the requirement of 6,999 acres. “This does not mean that the entire 12,637 acres of land should be provided to the company...It is not correct that every inch of the land acquired for the project, including 776 acres in the Section A must be handed over to the company,” he has curtly stated, adding that the money it has paid towards acquisition of land more than what is required for the toll road, will be refunded to the company if necessary.

On NICE seeking 1,916 acres private land for the development of township 1 at Bidadi, he stated that the townships can be developed only after the completion of the express way, as per the High Court judgement. “It means you (company) are only violating the orders of the HC and thereby committing contempt of court,” he added.

‘Not so NICE’

* PWD has warned NICE that it will report discrepancies to Supreme Court

* Wants NICE to furnish facts on BMIC for filing a status report to Supreme Court

* Discloses that Govt has given 554 acre excess land for Peripheral road

* Says there is no merit in company’s demand for 776 acre for peripheral road

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