Bengaluru: The Karnataka Law Department is set to take a call in about 10 days on the action to be initiated against Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd. (NICE), including the possibility of taking over their controversial Bengaluru-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) Project.
“A final decision will be taken in the next ten days after seeking the opinions of the Advocate General and the Government’s Special Legal Counsel in the Supreme Court as they are looking into the cases related to NICE in the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court,” Law Minister T.B. Jayachandra told reporters in Bengaluru yesterday. “Taking over the project can’t be ruled out,” he categorically stated.
Opposition BJP and JD(S) have demanded that the Government takes over the project, promoted by Bidar South Karnataka Makkala Paksha MLA Ashok Kheny as per recommendations of a Legislature Committee report submitted last year. NICE has been accused of violating the Framework Agreement with the Government while implementing the project.
Pointing out that as many as 20 cases were pending before the Apex Court and another 34 before the High Court with respect to NICE, the Minister said that the State had appointed two special counsels to handle them. He had asked them to present their views on the nature of action that could be initiated against NICE and a final picture would emerge in seven to ten days, the Minister said.
Listing some of the alleged irregularities pointed out by the Legislature Committee, Jayachandra maintained that over 32,000 acres of land had been notified for acquisition for the project though the actual extent of requirement was only about 20,000 acres as per the agreement.
“The problem is that all recommendations of the committee report are stuck one way or the other in court. The Special counsels will resolve this,” he said.
It may be recalled here that the entire Opposition in the Assembly during the recent Session held in Belagavi had urged the Government to initiate action against NICE with respect to alleged irregularities in executing the BMIC Project.
JD(S) State President H.D. Kumaraswamy had charged that NICE was given hundreds of acres of valuable land around Bengaluru in violation of the Framework Agreement. BJP MLA S.R. Vishwanath had said NICE had sold land that was meant for the project.
“There’s no question of the Government being scared to act. In the event that we decide to take over the project, it won’t be necessary to go through arbitration,” Jayachandra said.