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CM may block B?lore expressway

CM empowered to block B?lore expressway

india Updated: Jun 08, 2006 02:51 IST

It's official. The Karnataka government will block the Rs 2,850 crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project through a legislation likely to be moved in the legislative assembly on June 19. The first phase of this project is scheduled for inauguration on June 16.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy confirmed the government's decision to “nationalise” the project through a bill here on Wednesday. Late Tuesday night, the Cabinet authorised the chief minister and his deputy B. S. Yediyurappa to take a decision on the proposed bill. However, the BJP ministers reportedly held out a word of advice to the CM: tread with caution and examine the legal aspects before going ahead with the proposed bill to target Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), a consortium led by Kalyani Group of industries, Pune, which is constructing the expressway.

On Wednesday, Kumaraswamy spoke up against the consortium as well even as he vowed to protect the interests of farmers who own land along the expressway. The proposed bill will help farmers whose land was acquired for the project at throwaway prices. “The state government is determined to provide justice to farmers who have lost their land and there's no question of going back on it. The government cannot remain a mute spectator when injustice is meted out to farmers in the name of development by some vested interests. We are not making this (BMIC project) a prestige issue,” the Chief Minister told newsmen ahead of his departure for Dubai.

In addition, Kumaraswamy trained his guns on NICE, saying “this company started with a capital of Rs 70 and now owns land worth Rs 50, 000 to Rs 60,000 crore, all at the cost of the farmers (misery).”

He also suggested a public debate on the project and the proposed bill between now and the date of tabling the legislation.