Friday, March 30, 2007

16 theme business ventures planned

16 theme business ventures planned
The Hindu Business Line

Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project

Bangalore March 29 A host of 16 theme business propositions is going to dot the intersections of the tolled Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, according to its officials.

The interests at the Bangalore end range from a Hollywood-calibre film city; a banking and financial hub; large retail venture or hypermarket; a corporate hub for infotech companies; convention centre; to a biotechnology and healthcare entity, even bus and truck terminals, according to Mr Ashok Kheny, Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises that is implementing the BMICP.

Eight of them would come up at points along the 41-km semicircular peripheral road that hugs Bangalore. They would be up at 7-9-km intervals where the peripheral road cuts existing city trunk routes.

The peripheral road stretches from NH4 at Tumkur Road towards the West, up to NH7 at Hosur Road towards the east. Since its launch in June 2006, 24 km of the four-lane road from Hosur Road to Mysore Road is already in use free of charge. NICE currently awaits land release from the State Government for all but one of the city intersections.

A consortium led by the Kalyani group is promoting the Rs 2,250-crore road-cum-townships project.

Each anchor project would come up on an intersection space averaging 240 acres; it may each involve an investment of Rs 1,000-1,200 crore by NICE on infrastructure alone. "We have not frozen the locations of the other (six) hubs yet. NICE will develop them as fully or part-owned ventures," said Mr Manjunath Nayaker, spokesman for the company. "These nodes are going to be developed as the future growth hubs of Bangalore."

The larger idea is to ensure a consistent traffic along the elevated toll road when it becomes operational.

NICE roped in the machine tool industry to set up the Rs 250-crore Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on its land near NH4. The film city is the next to come up on available land at the Sompura junction close to where the 111-km expressway begins.

"We will provide the amenities and value additions, including water, power from our generation project, connectivity, even piped gas. There will be a residential component," Mr Nayaker said.

Litigations with environmentalists and delays by the State Government pushed the project beyond the year 2000, they said. So far, 7,000 acres of land has been transferred and 13,000 acres are due.

Digital film city at Sompura

A digitally-kitted-out film city on 300 acres at Sompura is meant to rival the best of Hollywood or British studios. It will offer `the works' at a win-win price to attract film-makers from across the world, according to Mr Ashok Kheny, US-based Managing Director of NICE.

The company is talking to overseas studios for a tie-up and to promote the venture. Also in the making are a film institute and technical training centre.

The venture will include 7-star, 5-star and 3-star hotels for the visiting film fraternity - and to be built by those familiar with the film industry's needs.

The 20 sound and stage studios will be fashioned after Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, or the British Pinewood. Its computerised lighting system, live editing table, cameras, sound recording, cranes and computer graphics should draw makers of TV shows and ad films.

The studio, Mr Kheny said, will create jobs for over 10,000 skilled and non-skilled technicians while encouraging regional films.


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