Friday, July 17, 2009

How NICE gobbled up 17 tanks

How NICE gobbled up 17 tanks



Express News Service First Published : 16 Jul 2009 08:32:15 AM ISTLast Updated : 16 Jul 2009 12:51:29 PM IST
BANGALORE: As many as 17 tanks of Bangalore city have been encroached upon by Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) with the construction of the peripheral road whose alignment was not part of what was originally conceived in the Framework Agreement (FWA). The Framework Agreement (FWA) had carefully avoided all the tanks, except some parts for which the survey numbers have been mentioned in the government order number PWD 32, dated November 20, 1995. The same was accepted in the project technical report.
The documents, obtained by many individuals and activists under the RTI Act, and in possession of the Express, have been compiled into a book titled ‘White paper on BMICP fraud,’ published by the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti. According to the book, the original alignment avoided most of these tanks.
But now, with the new alignment, the Peripheral road encroaches 17 tanks in the city.
The present alignment encroaches Beretenha Agrahara tank and Konappana Agrahara tank which is almost 17 km away from the original alignment.
Further, the deviated alignment is encroaching the Begur tank and Kammanahalli tank more than what the project had conceived in the FWA.
The new alignment will breach the larger part of Ramasandra tank, Manganahalli tank and Gangondanahalli tank.
As per the FWA, the Peripheral road was supposed to pass through the southern part of Konappana Agrahara, whereas now it passes through its northern part.
It was to pass through the southern part of Hommadevanahalli.
But now it passes through the northern part of the village. The original alignment was supposed to start at the 17th km stone on NH-7, whereas now it starts at the 15th km stone on NH-7, which is nearer to the city limits.
As per the documents, the PWD secretary introduced a note in the government files, stating that the quantum of land which should revert back to the government was 11,966 acres instead of 14,255.7 acres, thereby enabling Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) to have ownership of land aggregating to 2289.7 acres, which as on date is worth Rs 30,000 crore.
In all the affidavits filed by NICE and PWD department, they have not mentioned the details of the tanks that the project was covering. This is despite the letter by the chief secretary to hand over the survey details with the survey numbers.
Neither the PWD nor the NICE submitted the reports. In between, the government issued an order to NICE, to proceed with the implementation of the project as per FWA, High Court direction and the judgement of the Supreme Court, dated July 20, 2006.
A counter affidavit, filed by the PWD secretary on behalf of the empowered committee members in the High Court, stated that subsequent to the FWA, several developments and events had taken place, which resulted in impermissible deviations and changes from the FWA and the project as originally conceived, resulting in enormous losses of several thousands of crores of rupees to the state exchequer through attempts to illegally usurp public and private properties.
The conduct of the project company had been wholly unfair, it stated.
All court judgements have said that NICE should stick to the original alignment mentioned in the FWA.

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