Friday, December 26, 2008

Give me more land: Ashok Kheny

Give me more land: Ashok Kheny

Express News Service
First Published : 24 Dec 2008 04:02:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Dec 2008 12:56:09 PM IST

BANGALORE: “I can provide you with a toll-free expressway and peripheral road if I can acquire all the land required and sell the allowed portion of land to repay my debts,” Ashok Kheny, MD of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICE), told mediapersons here on Tuesday.

NICE still needs 14,000 acres for the whole Bangalore- Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP). Out of the 113 km of the planned Bangalore- Mysore Expressway, 4.8 km have already been constructed and land availability is awaited for the remaining 107 km, Kheny said. “If the government gives us the required land, we can construct the Bangalore- Mysore Expressway in a year. Townships can come up later,” Kheny added.

Increase in traffic and land prices over the years would help NICE recover its investments, despite the delay in construction due to unavailability of land and cost-escalation in the construction period, Kheny said.

On compensations not paid to the land owners, Kheny said: “Over Rs 50 crore paid by NICE for land compensation in the last two years is still lying with the KIADB. We have paid the KIADB and they are not releasing the funds to the land owners. We agreed to pay Rs 7 lakh per acre when the prices were a Rs 2 lakh per acre.”


* High toll is justified if one keeps in mind the huge investments.

* No free passes to locals. NICE would give weekly and monthly passes to the frequent users of the road but no extra benefits to the people living along the road or farmers who gave away their land for the road project.

* NICE would not exempt two-wheelers from toll. More two-wheelers on the expressway would be hindrance to the high-speed traffic.

* Not building a concrete road according to the agreement is justified as NICE has built 168 underpasses and overpasses, which would have damaged a cement road.

* Road alignment should be around the Gottigere Lake.

Any bridge across the lake would destroy the lake.

* A cable suspension bridge across the lake would cost Rs 190 crore. The existing toll rates would have to be doubled to recover this cost.

Kheny suggests

* The Government can use the 15-metre ‘no construction zone’ on either side of the NICE peripheral road to construct a no-toll service road.

* NICE has proposed to construct a metro or mono-rail on the median.

The proposal is pending with the state government.

* “If the government gives us the required land, we can construct Bangalore- Mysore Expressway in a year.”


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