Thursday, July 16, 2009

NICE sitting on 7,000 acres excess land

NICE sitting on 7,000 acres excess land



Express News Service First Published : 15 Jul 2009 04:14:00 AM IST
BANGALORE: Twelve years after the Framework Agreement (FWA) between the Government of Karnataka and the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) to implement the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) was signed, startling information on the acquisition of excess land for the project has come into the public domain, thanks to the Right to Information Act.
It is now established that over these years, the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) acquired excess land of nearly 7,000 acres for the controversial project in violation of the FWA.
The documents, obtained by many individuals and activists under the RTI Act, and in the possession of Express, disclose that the KIADB, as early as 1998-1999, notified 21,000 acres of private land as against the sanctioned area of 13,237 acres in FWA.
These docume nts have been compiled into a book titled “White Paper on BMICP fraud” published by the Dalit Sangharsha Samiti The KIADB, in 1999, notified 5,688 acres of government land to be given to the project as against the sanctioned area of 6,956 acres in the FWA. In all, the KIADB agreed to give 26,688 acres of land to NICE instead of 20,193 acres as agreed in the FWA.
Section A comprises 41 km of peripheral road, 9.8 km of link road and 13 km of expressway from Bangalore to Bidadi.
The documents also point out that KIADB notified 5,675 acres for peripheral road portion alone as against 2,193 acres required in FWA.
For the link road, the KIADB has notified 563 acres of land as against 278 acres required in the FWA. For the expressway, KIADB notified 6,348 acres against the requirement of 4,568 acres of land.
The NICE spokesperson said, “The expert panel formed to study this issue has given clear guidance. We are following the same. All allegations are baseless.
The matter is still in the court and we will adhere to the court orders given earlier.” Clause misused All these years, officials have buried these violations under the confidentiality clause in the FWA. The clause says, “Each party shall hold in strict confidence all confidential information received by it from the other party. The party receiving such confidential information shall not publish or otherwise disclose or use the confidential information for its own purposes.” Thanks to RTI activists and farmers, the issue came out in the open. Acting on this, the government on July 17, 2008, wrote to the chief executive officer of KIADB seeking explanation about the basis on which these lands were notified and in some cases, given to NICE.
In Section A alone, KIADB has notified 12,586 acres of land instead of 6,999 acres sanctioned. The then special DC had said that KIADB had admitted that land acquisition notifications were issued based on requirement indicated by promoter company and not on the basis of any technical drawings approved by the government or PWD or the FWA.

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