BMIC from Mysore end proves to be a non-starter
Mysore, July 7: High drama prevailed for over four hours in and around the city today, with the district administration, armed with prohibitory orders and a huge posse of police personnel, stalling the bhoomi pooja of the 111-km expressway of the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project from the Mysore end.
Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) officials obstructed NICE personnel from making arrangements for the ground breaking ceremony, citing the non-payment of funds by the promoters for the land acquired for the project. However, the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise, the project promoters, contended that it had paid the necessary fund to the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB), to be handed over to MUDA, and hence would go ahead with the programme.
The entire area had been barricaded by the police and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC clamped on the city suburbs.
Since morning, police officers were seen arguing with NICE officials at the land earmarked for starting the work on the outskirts of the city.
As soon as NICE Managing Director Ashok Kheny and other company officials entered the city and headed towards the work site, police stopped them and refused entry to the spot. Later, Mr Kheny met Deputy Commissioner S Selvakumar at his office and sought reasons for stopping the work.
Mr Selvakumar, also the MUDA Chairman, explained that the activities on MUDA land had to be stalled as they have neither been informed by the KIADB about payment, nor been paid for the earmarked 14 acres and 14 guntas of land. As soon as they received the payment, they would release the land for the project work, he said.
Mr Kheny said he would write a letter to the district administration, seeking the reason for stopping work, despite the Supreme Court and the Government giving permission to start work from the Mysore end.
Mr Selva Kumar said the MUDA Commissioner would reply to the letter. Talking to newspersons who accompanied him, Mr Kheny said NICE had already deposited Rs 110 crore with the KIADB and it was responsible for releasing the land. He had already talked to KIADB regarding making the payment to MUDA to clear the land. The process may be completed today and work was expected to commence by July 11.
Stating that he would also write a letter to the Chief Minister seeking cooperation to complete the project and to clear the hurdles for commencing the project from the Mysore end, he said it was unfortunate that the people of Mysore had been deprived of development following today's incident. The connecting roads of Kanakapura-Bannerghatta and Magadi-Mysore roads would be completed and opened for public by August 15, he announced.
Denying that he would approach the court in this regard, he said he would move the court only if the court pulled up NICE for violation of its order.
Mr Kheny asserted that NICE had not sold or pledged a single acre of land with any bank, seeking loans for the project, as alleged and said the bank gurantee had been given by NICE Chairman and industrialist Baba Kalyani, one among the 500 rich people in the world. Land aquisition and road component of the three-phase project costs Rs 2,250 crore and the total investment was expected to exceed Rs 18,000 crore, he added.
Meanwhile, protestors for and against the project staged demonstrations in various places here. While a small group of people shouted slogans against the project and Mr Kheny in front of the DC's office, Shivakshathi Vedike of the Congress and the Strishakthi group welcomed Mr Kheny on the city outskirts and extended their support.
The police had made elaborate security arrangements around the work site and stopped buses heading towards the spot at various entry points to the city.