Monday, July 30, 2007

Government claim over BMIC incorrect: Kheny

Government claim over BMIC incorrect: Kheny

Staff Reporter

He blames coalition politics for the move

Consortium is no longer interested in the project: Kheny

‘Partners have nothing to do

with consortium’

BANGALORE: The claim by the State Government that a U.S.-based consortium has offered to take over the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project is incorrect, Ashok Kheny, Managing Director, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd. (NICE), told The Hindu here on Sunday.

According to him, the consortium is no longer interested in the project and has “distance itself” from it.

Mr. Kheny’s reaction comes in the wake of the State Government’s affidavit before the Supreme Court proposing that NICE, which is implementing the BMIC, be taken off the project and that it be given to the $250 billion Global Infrastructure Consortium (GIC).

The consortium comprises the following companies from the United States and India as partners: Indus Capital, USA; New York Life Insurance Fund, USA; Urban Infrastructure Fund, Mumbai; Avenue Capital, USA; SKIL Infrastructure Limited (SKILIL), Mumbai, and IREO Fund of the USA.

The consortium has suo motu offered to undertake construction of the expressway and also throw in a monorail along it free of cost. The State Government has sought the permission of the Supreme Court to go ahead with this proposal.< /p>

Mr. Kheny claimed that the correspondence addresses of SKILIL in Mumbai and Bangalore were false.

He said some of the partners had sent him letters saying that they had nothing to do with the consortium, but refused to name these partners. He had brought this to the notice of the Supreme Court and also to the Commerce Department of the U.S.

Mr. Kheny blamed what he called the “super corrupt State Government” under the leadership of “one family” for the move under what was known as Swiss Challenge Method.

The aim was to create confusion among the people, he said.

In the first place, the method was applicable where projects changed hands because of “new ideas”. Besides, this was not in practice in India and was illegal, he claimed.

Mr. Kheny pointed out that the proposal had come a year after the State Government dropped special legislation aimed at nullifying the agreement with NICE citing “certain constraints in a coalition set-up”.

He pointed out that he too could submit a proposal to the State Government under the Swiss Challenge Model to acquire the Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli. His “new idea” was to save some 1,000 acres of land to the Government and give back the Rs. 350 crore grant the Government had committed to give to the project. He would show that the project ran at a profit as the value of the land had gone up several times.


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