Saturday, August 22, 2009

BMIC project: pollution control board withdraws CFE granted to NICE

BMIC project: pollution control board withdraws CFE granted to NICE

Staff Reporter
Bangalore: The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has withdrawn the Consent for Establishment (CFE) granted to carry out the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project citing violations in the plan for which environment clearance was given in 2000.

In its recent order, the board also found that opening of sections of the peripheral ring road (PRR), constructed as part of the project, for movement of vehicles was also a clear violation of the conditions imposed while granting CFE.

The Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), which is executing the BMIC project, has been collecting toll from users of the PRR since about a year, and now the board found that the roads had been put to use without obtaining a separate consent for operation of the road as per the condition.

This latest order of the KSPCB has now put the brakes on works related to the BMIC project, which is already facing charges of irregularities like acquisition of excess land and illegal change in road alignment, among others.

Meanwhile, the board found that NICE had changed the alignment of PRR at many locations, violating the plan for which the environmental clearances were given by the board and the Union Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests.

The board first withdrew the CFE in September 2006 and NICE challenged it before the Karnataka State Appellate Authority (under Air and Water Act), which remitted the matter back to the KSPCB to pass a fresh order after hearing the views of NICE. The board, after hearing NICE, in March 2007 reconfirmed the order.

The Karnataka High Court on July 3, 2009, asked the board to dispose of the issue on withdrawal of CFE within four weeks while directing the NICE to adhere to its undertaking given to the court that it would not go ahead with work in disputed areas.

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