Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NICE ready to abide by deal on BMIC

NICE ready to abide by deal on BMIC
Bangalore, DHNS:

The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday sought to know whether the State government faced any legal hitch in handing over lands meant for Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project, in the event of project-promoter Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) undertaking to strictly abide with the original framework agreement.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph and Mr Justice S Abdul Nazeer posed the query during the hearing of a PIL filed by the Indian Manufacturers’ Organisation, which has sought a court direction for speedy execution of the BMIC project.

The court also sought clear information on the exact extent of lands that have been already handed over to NICE; that have been acquired and are in government possession and that are under various stages of acquisition.

Advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for the petitioner, said though both the State government and NICE were bound by the SC order in April 2006 directing execution of the project, it was being delayed.

NICE counsel Dushyant Dave said the project was stalled due to the government’s unwillingness to hand over the lands required for the project. Many lands for which acquisition notifications have been already issued, were still being transacted. The government was permitting these transactions and protecting the buyers who were the only beneficiaries of the delay, he alleged. State Advocate-General Uday Holla said that NICE and some others had filed a petition before the SC, seeking a similar direction for execution of the project and its hearing was scheduled for July 30.

Acquisition of some lands was still on, he said while stating that the government was committed to implementing the project. But, the government lacked trust in NICE since it was changing alignments and planning to sell off project lands in violation of the original framework agreement, he contended.

“The State government is bound by a SC order. If the framework agreement is followed and no additional land is demanded, it will have to cooperate,” the bench also observed.

However, the bench adjourned the matter to August 29, 2007, saying that it would consider the issues after awaiting any decision or order of the Supreme Court, during the hearing of the NICE petition on July 30.


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