HD Deve Gowda writes to CM Siddaramiah about alleged violations in the execution of BMICP.

HD Deve Gowda, President of the Janata Dal-Secular (JDS), issued a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah on Friday, alleging “illegalities” in the implementation of the Bangalore-Mysore Corridor Infrastructure Project (BMICP).

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal-Secular (JDS) Chief HD Deve Gowda issued a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah on Friday, alleging “illegalities” in the implementation of the Bangalore-Mysore Corridor Infrastructure Project (BMICP). “You are well aware that farmers in the Banglore-Mysore region have been subjected to the most heinous exploitation in the name of the BMICP.” Our government conceived of the project in 1995 as an infrastructure project to decongest Bangalore City and provide for planned urbanisation in the Bangalore-Mysore corridor. However, as the Sadana Samiti Report tabled in the House by your government in 2016 meticulously narrated, the project proponent, M/s. Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICEL), has unconscionably diverted its originally conceived public purpose to enable its private profiteering at the expense of this great state’s poor farmers,” the letter read.

“Under Schedule I of the Framework Agreement dated 03.04.1997 (“FWA”), NICEL is only entitled to 13,237 acres of private land for the entire BMICP.” However, we notice that 29,267 acres have been notified under Section 3(1) of the KIAD Act, which is more than twice the scope of its entitlement. “For the last 25 years, 13,404 acres in the Bangalore-Mysore region have been under preliminary notification of acquisition, putting farmers’ livelihoods in deep freeze,” it stated.

“Your government went on record before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2016 to state on affidavit that NICEL has not been implementing the BMICP in accordance with the FWA and the Project Technical Report (“PTR”) which laid out the blueprint for the BMICP,” the letter continued. Your administration has stated on the record that the Peripheral Road was not constructed in compliance with the FWA alignment. Your government indicated on record that NICEL had 554 acres of land in excess of its entitlements for the Peripheral Road and that additional land, including the 76 acres under Section 28(4) notification, would be turned over to it.”

According to the Sadana Samiti report, NICEL entered into JDAs with respect to BMICP lands in at least 41 villages, the total market value of which was assessed to be Rs. 7,07,77,766,040/- in 2016! May I request that you look into the compensation to be paid at least now?”

“Other Sadana Samiti report findings are equally troubling.” NICEL’s collection of tolls on the Peripheral Road is illegal since it failed to change the bituminous pavement to 350 M concrete pavement in line with the PTR requirements and stipulations. Instead, NICEL has illegally completed 150 M of white topping on the road, in clear contravention of the terms established by the cabinet when it approved the collection on the bituminous road,” it stated.

“The Sadana Samiti report conservatively estimated toll collection on the Peripheral Road as amounting to 322.65 crores in 2014-2015, whereas the estimated figures of annual toll collection in the PTR was calculated as around Rs. 88.84 crores by 2014-15,” the letter continued. NICEL has been engaged in the illegal modification of toll charges in order to profit at the expense of the public, as evidenced by affidavits presented by it before the Hon’ble Supreme Court in 2016.

I request that your government end inequities in the implementation of the BMICP. Your position is a sacred trust, and I implore you to act quickly to restore justice to the farmers of the Bangalore-Mysore region and to maintain the trust that the people of this wonderful state have placed in you.”

According to an official release, the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project includes a 111-kilometer motorway between Bangalore and Mysore, a 41-kilometer peripheral road, and a 9.8-kilometer link road connecting Bangalore to the motorway. The project is an integrated infrastructure corridor made up of five townships that run beside the motorway.

Corporate centre, Commercial centre (near Bidadi), Industrial centre, Heritage centre (Ramnagar), and Eco-tourist centre (Srirangapattana) are the five townships.

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