Saturday, October 27, 2007

State will relook at BMIC

State will relook at BMIC
Requests SC To Put Off Hearing In Case Seeking To Re-Bid Project

New Delhi: Karnataka, under President’s rule, on Friday informed the Supreme Court it is taking a fresh look at the Bangalore-Mysore expressway project, which was the centre of a spat between contractor Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) and the erstwhile H D Kumaraswamy regime.
Karnataka government counsel Sanjay Hegde requested a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan for an adjournment of hearing on the matter that was scheduled for next week. He said, “The new administration will take a fresh look at the project’’.
NICE had filed a contempt plea against the state government alleging it was putting roadblocks at every stage, causing huge financial loss and delay to the project. On the other hand, the state government had approached the apex court seeking permission for re-bidding on the remaining work of the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC).
The state said it had got a brandnew proposal from Global Infrastructure Consortium, a US-based entity, to add Rs 1,700 crore worth of monorail to the project without any additional cost to the state.
Earlier, the apex court had lambasted the government headed by Kumaraswamy for creating impediments for NICE, and imposed costs on it.
The Kumaraswamy government had accused the project promoter of trying to develop the excess land it had acquired in the garb of the expressway project, and of selling it at a much higher price.
BMIC features
Length: 111 km; 41 km linking National Highways 7 and 4; 9 km linking the Bangalore-Mysore expressway to the state highway 17; 3 km of elevated expressway connecting the Link Road to downtown Bangalore.
Five townships: With builtin schools, hospitals, parks and recreation facilities, water and power supplies and telecommunication links and sewage treatment facilities. BMIC: THE ROAD TAKEN SO FAR
The path taken by Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project executed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises has been plagued by controversies. Here are important milestones of project.
February, 1995: MoU signed by CM H D Deve Gowda with William Weld, governor of Massachusetts, USA, as part of sister state agreement; consortium involves VHB (USA), SAB engineering (USA) and Kalyani Group (India). Includes seven townships
November, 1995: GO based on the MoU (PWD 32 CSR 95) authorising acquisition of 18,313 acres for the highway and five townships.
1996: NICE is formed as the project implementation company, leaving out VHB.
April, 1997: Framework agreement signed. Approximate land given as 20,193 acres in an unsigned annexure.
1997: C R Ramesh, as PWD secretary files affidavit in the Karnataka High Court, questioning land requirement.
October, 1998: Agreement between KIADB and NICE, land extent estimated to be 23,846 acres.
July 2000: Public hearings on objections.
August 2002: Environmental clearance from Union ministry of environments and forests.
August 2002: Toll-franchise and land-lease agreements signed between NICE and government.
June\November, 2003:
KIADB sells 30 acres to NICE, which in turn sells to IMTMA.
March, 2004: NICE begins construction. April, 2004: Governor T N Chaturvedi advises chief secretary to take appropriate action on excess land.
May, 2004: KIADB special DC issues preliminary notification for 29,258 acres.
November, 2004: K C Reddy committee constituted.
December, 2004: Committee interim report submitted, stating 2,450 acres allocation is excess; cabinet accepts the report.
March, 2005: Committee’s final report submitted, giving final land requirement figure as 17,809 acres. Cabinet upholds this and chief secretary K K Misra files affidavit in HC based on this.
May 2, 2005: HC says CS’s affidavit is false, orders expedition of the project and criminal prosecution of Misra.
April 20, 2006: SC upholds the Karnataka HC judgment, favouring continuance of the project.
July 3, 2006: State files review petition before the SC seeking review of its April 20 order.
November 2006: SC dismisses review petition as not even an acre of land has been transferred to NICE.
November 2006: The apex court admits contempt petition against the government filed by NICE.
October 5, 2007: SC adjourns contempt case hearing against the government to October 29.
October 25, 2006: Governor Rameshwar Thakur accepts resignation of Advocate General Uday Holla, who was arguing the case for the state.


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