Tuesday, July 25, 2006

BMIC feud over land continues

BMIC feud over land continues
Deccan Herald

Truck terminal, bus terminal, warehousing facilities, motels, petrol bunks, commercial complexes - the 41-km peripheral road of Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor has the trappings of a bumper package. But, on ground zero, all these promises fall flat.

Except for a convention centre that is about 60 per cent complete on a 40-acre land adjacent to Tumkur Road, the peripheral road remains just that - a road.

Where are the terminals and commercial complexes? This is where the cat and mouse game between the government and the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), promoters of BMIC project, begins.

‘No land’

Officials of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise claim they have been wringing their hands in despair.

“We have been given no land, how are we to construct buildings in the interchanges?” asked an official when Deccan Herald conducted a reality check last week.

The official, pointing at a vast expanse of land, said the truck terminal is expected to be constructed in this area.

“However, as the government has not released any land, no work has commenced yet,” he said. The construction work of a truck terminal on Hosur Road and bus terminal near PESIT College near Mysore Road are also pending due to the same reason, he added.

“About 950 acres of land required for the buildings are still awaited,” said a spokesperson for NICE.

Counter argument

The Public Works Department and Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board counter these claims and assert they have already given “more than sufficient” land for construction of buildings in interchanges.

“The construction work is pending not because they do not have land, but because they have not yet submitted the technical drawings for these buildings. They have been announcing plans in public, but they are yet to back it with technical documents,” said a KIADB official.

“Why are they eyeing Mysore? Why don’t they finish the work for which they already have the land? They are only concentrating on the road work, but not on infrastructure development on interchanges,” said a senior bureaucrat with the PWD.

“We have given about 75 acres for each of the eight interchanges. We have given 1,770 acres of private land and 1,117 acres of government land towards peripheral ring road and link road, which is more than the 2,471 acres identified in the framework agreement,” the KIADB official pointed out.

As for the dispute regarding “release of land”, KIADB said the issue of vacating the land that has already been handed over, is between NICE and the land owners. “Why should we interfere in these matters. We have already given NICE the possession of the land,” the KIADB official said.


NICE, however, disagreed. “We have no authority to approach the land owners. The KIADB should do that. The land owners refuse to vacate now, because they are taking mileage of the political developments over the issue,” the NICE official said.


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