BENGALURU: In a move which could spell major trouble for Ashok Kheny, legislator and Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) as well as some officers guilty of colluding with him, a House panel constituted to probe irregularities in implementation of Bengaluru-Mysuru Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project, seems set to recommend recovery of more than 800 acres of excess land worth about Rs 3,000 crores, handed over by the state government for completion of the project, and criminal action against these officers.
In addition, the panel could also recommend recovery of illegal toll collected by NICE on the peripheral ring road between Electronics City and Tumakuru road.
Report to be tabled
The panel would table its report in the Legislative Assembly during the ongoing session in Belagavi, a senior member of the panel told Deccan Chronicle on the condition of anonymity.
The member said,“The committee has taken all facts into consideration and indicted NICE promoter and Bidar (South) MLA Ashok Kheny for violating the framework agreement of the project.”
The member declined to disclose further details but stated “we have decided to put an end to this two decade old controversial project, and recover excess land in order to render justice to poor farmers. Nearly 35 files went missing during our hearing. We have identified errant officials who colluded with representatives of NICE, and want criminal proceedings initiated against these officials”, the member added.
The House panel, headed by law minister T.B. Jayachandra, held several sittings, even after drawing up the draft report. It held the final sitting at Belagavi on November 21. NICE allegedly violated the earlier frame work agreement and took possession of extra land from KIADB.
In 2014, the state government had announced that it would set up a House committee of members of the state legislature to probe alleged irregularities in land allotment for BMIC project following a debate in the Assembly where several members, cutting across party lines, alleged that land in excess of what had been originally agreed upon was granted to NICE.
Under the 1997 BMIC project agreement, NICE had to be provided 20,193 acres of land (13,327 acres private land, and 6,956 acres government land) to create a 111 km expressway and five townships between Bengaluru and Mysuru, over a period of ten years from commencement of work.
Many political leaders, including Janata Dal (Secular) patriarch H.D. Deve Gowda, had alleged that the company received 2,250 acres of land in excess of the total land required under the framework agreement under the Congress government that ruled the state between 1999-2004.