Wednesday, May 07, 2008

BMIC gets the go-ahead

BMIC gets the go-ahead
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: After four long years of legal battle with the state government, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) is seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
The government, in its latest order, has permitted NICE to go ahead with the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project. With this, the government has paved the way for completion of the peripheral and link roads, which were stalled by the H D Kumaraswamy government. Besides, an empowered committee headed by chief secretary Sudhakar Rao has been asked to take all necessary steps for early completion of NICE’s projects, including the expressway connecting Bangalore and Mysore.
Having considered all the legal aspects, the executive committee of the public works department has issued an order for the project’s completion. The Frame Work Agreement (FWA) between NICE and the state government to execute the BMIC project was signed on April 3, 1997.
The JD(S) partnered Congress and BJP coalition governments put in every possible effort to stop the project, but the Supreme Court came in the way of the Kumarasway government’s plan. The government was rapped on five occasions by the high court and the SC in the past three years.
The latest was just a month ago, when the SC issued a contempt notice to the government asking it to reply on the contempt petition filed by NICE, promoters of BMIC. The court issued notices asking the government to respond as to why the SC order on BMIC is not implemented.
Interestingly, the government has modified Kumaraswamy’s cabinet decisions taken in August 2007. The important decisions taken then were: no sale deeds to be executed in favour of NICE and inviting global tenders to take up the BMIC project through Swiss Challenge method suggested by Global Infrastructure Consortium. However, the SC struck down the government’s idea of the Swiss Challenge method.
Before passing an order, the PWD’s executive committee has taken note of the core contention of NICE, which had maintained the same in the contempt petition before the SC. It said the government was doing everything at its command to frustrate and defeat the various writs of mandamus issued by the courts, with a view to kill the project, contrary to the direction of the courts.
“We have completed 39.5 km of the total length of 41 km of peripheral road; 7.1 km of the 9.1 km of link road and only 4.5 km of expressway. The remaining portions of the roads and the interchanges are incomplete owing to non-availability of lands,’’ a NICE representative maintained.
The company also asked the SC to appoint an independent agency like Lok Ayukta to oversee and supervise execution of the project. The SC in April 2006 gave its nod to NICE to go ahead with the project.
toiblr.reporter@timesgroup.com

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