Friday, March 20, 2009

HC nod for NICE road around Gottigere tank

HC nod for NICE road around Gottigere tank


Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday quashed the Kumaraswamy government notification of November 4, 2006 on the alignment of the NICE peripheral road near Gottigere tank. It directed the road be based on pillars sunk in the tank and go over it.
“It is apparent on the face of records that the government had interfered and intruded into the power conferred upon BMICAPA. The BMICAPA also failed to discharge its authority and the order passed under Section 14-A of Karnataka Town and Country planning Act is contrary, gross violation and extraneous interference in the domain of statutory authority BMICAPA,” the division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran observed in its verdict running into 100 pages.
The Bench allowed the petitions filed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise and PILs filed by B K Chakrapani and the Electronic City Industries Association and dismissed the contempt petition filed by Vijayaraghavan.
NICE challenged the notification on various grounds, contending that the order was against the approval accorded under the BMICAPA master plan on Feb. 12, 2004 for laying the road around the lake. After the Supreme Court confirmed the judgment of the high court upholding the project and directing the state government to implement it expeditiously, the government placed new hurdles. One was the Nov. 4, 2006 notification, the company claimed. Environmentalist B K Chakrapani and ECIA filed independent writ petitions challenging the notification. Chakrapani contended that the construction of the road in the middle of the tank, though on pillars, would destroy it and affect the environment. ECIA contended that the road was incomplete near Gottigere tank on account of the realignment required by the notification and caused enormous inconvenience to employees of industries in Electronic City in their daily commute.
In Gottigere village on Bannerghatta Road Live tank reportedly over 500 years old Source of discharge to downstream lakes like Hulimaavu, Madivala, Bellandur lakes Total area 14.98 hectares Water-spread area (as per Lake Development Authority) 8.52 hectares RAP AFTER RAP
In their battle with NICE, H D Deve Gowda and son have been repeatedly pulled up by the courts over the years. The latest judgment is another blow
Bangalore: Although former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and his son former CM H D Kumaraswamy would like avoid any more court censure, their mistakes related to the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project have led them to face the court’s wrath.
On Thursday, they got the latest rap when the high court quashed the notification issued by Kumaraswamy as CM in November 2006 on the Gottigere tank issue.
Through a government order, Kumaraswamy directed Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) to build the BMIC peripheral road over Gottigere tank by installing pillars in the tank bed. However, the notification was challenged by NICE on the grounds that a road in the middle of the tank would destroy it and affect the environment.
With this court order, NICE can link peripheral road connecting Hosur Road and Kanakapura Road taking the alignment by the side of the tank near Bannerghatta Road. This development is certainly a setback to the father-son duo, who have been on a collision course with BMIC promoter Ashok Kheny ever since J H Patel signed the Frame Work Agreement (FWA) in 1997 for the BMIC project.
Recently, the Supreme Court made strong observations against Gowda related to the letter and book on BMIC, which he forwarded to high court judges.
The SC observed that Gowda was free to write any number of letters, books and could hold seminars on BMIC, but should not doubt the court’s integrity on the issue. The SC rap was a follow-up to a stricture passed by the Karnataka HC in the same case.
Ever since the government started taking the NICE head-on, the father and son have been rapped on five occasions by the HC and SC.
NICE entered into an agreement with the state government in April 1997 to build a peripheral road. The alignment passes through Gottigere Lake bisecting it. Based on the petition by Suresh Heblikar, the high court in June 1999 ordered NICE not to lay any road bisecting Gottigere Lake, preventing or disturbing inflow of water into the tank. NICE accepted the order and the PWD department in June 2002 accepted the NICE proposal to build an alternative road. A realignment was proposed but, due to various reasons the matter was pending in the high court. ROUGH HISTORY
May 2005: HC in its judgment allowed NICE to go ahead with the BMIC project
April 20, 2006: A severe censure when the same order was upheld by the Supreme Court. It also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the state and asked it to deposit with NICE for bringing frivolous arguments in an appeal against the HC
November 2006: Perhaps the most severe when the SC dismissed the government’s petition seeking review of its April 20 order on BMIC project, and rehearing of the matter. The Kumaraswamy government had contended that NICE had secured 2,150 acres excess land around Bangalore worth over Rs 30,000 crore, which would result in loss to the exchequer
October 2007: The Kumaraswamy government decided to ditch NICE and invite global tenders to complete BMIC project. However, the plan remained only on paper as this idea was struck down by the SC
March 2008: The SC issued notice to the government asking it to reply on the contempt petition filed by NICE. The court issued notices asking the government to respond why the SC order on BMIC was not implemented


Post a Comment

<< Home