Cabinet cancels judicial probe into BMIC Project

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Bangalore, Oct 7: In a major relief to Nandi Infrastructure Developers, which is building Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor, the Karnataka Government today decided to rescind previous BJP-JD(S) Coalition Government's decision to go in for a judicial probe into the allotment of land for the project.

Briefing newsmen after a Cabinet meeting, Home Minister V S Acharya said the previous coalition government had ordered a judicial probe into the controversial allotment of over 20,000 acre of land to Nandi Infrastructure.

Dr Acharya said after considering a letter from Retired Supreme Court Judge B C Patil, in which he had expressed inability to head the judicial commission, the Cabinet decided to withdraw the judicial probe.

''The previous government had also given an undertaking to the Supreme Court, which is also hearing a petition on the BMIC issue, to rescind its decision on judicial probe,'' he added.

The H D Kumaraswamy Government in the State had ordered a judicial probe into BMIC Project accusing it of procuring more land than accepted in the original framework agreement for the project.

In another decision, the State Cabinet has decided to permit release of 102 acre of land, sought by the Nandi Infrastructure Developers to complete the bridges coming under the peripheral road.

''It would help to bridge missing links within the peripheral roads being constructed by the Nandi Infrastructure,'' Dr Acharya remarked.

The Cabinet also approved extension of Bangalore Metro Project to both South-North Corridor and West-East Corridor.

The estimated cost of Rs 6,395 crore would go up by another Rs 1200 crore, he said.

The revised South-North Corridor would be extended to Hesaraghatta Road in the North and up to Jaraganahalli in the South. The revised corridor would be taken up under the first phase, Dr Acharya said. Relating to Bangalore Metro, the Cabinet also approved a proposal to conduct survey for a new alignment connecting Electronic City with Whitefield. It also approved Bangalore Metro's proposal to have new Metro stations within the premises of Lalbagh and Cubbon Parks.

''A suitable amendment will be brought to the Karnataka Government Parks (Prevention) Act 1975,'' he said.

He also said approval was given to the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-committee on the collection of Property Tax in the BBMP area, based on Self Assessment Scheme (SAS), with a hike of 20 per cent.

The whole BBMP area, which was merged with three City Muncipal Councils and some other panchayats, would come under the new tax structure.

''With the State Government's decision, as many as 13 lakh tax assessees would come under BBMP against the earlier seven lakh,'' he said.

The BBMP was expected to generate additional Rs 200 crore Property Tax, he said.

It was decided to release Rs 19 crore to Shikaripur Town Muncipal Council (TMC) for Anjanapura Drinking Water Project.

The Cabinet also decided to merge the State-owned defunct Vijayanagar Steel Limited into Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) with all its assets and liabilities.

UNI

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