Bangalore-Mysore corridor leads nowhere

By Nidhi Jamwal
Published: Wednesday 15 November 2006

on october6, 2006 the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (kspcb) withdrew the consent for establishment it had granted to Bangalore-based Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (nice) for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (bmicp). The primary goal of this project is to build a six-lane expressway (see map Carriageway) between the two cities. kspcb claims that nice has deviated from its original plan for developing the 41-km outer peripheral ring road, a part of the bmicp, and flouted consent conditions. Over 14 tanks and water bodies, comprising about 82 hectares (ha), have allegedly been encroached upon by nice. Confirming these reports, B Ramaiah, member secretary, kspcb, told Down To Earth, "We have withdrawn the consent for establishment , as we found certain deviations from the original road alignment. Now, follow-up action needs to be taken." There is still no clarity, however.

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Meanwhile, environmentalists have demanded that the Union ministry of environment and forests (moef) withdraw the conditional environmental clearance it gave nice in August 2001. moef's clearance was based on the no-objection certificate and consent issued by kspcb in August 2000. With kspcb withdrawing its consent, the moef clearance stands nullified, they claim. In spite of repeated efforts, nice officials could not be contacted.

The Karnataka government has been trying since the early 1980s to develop the corridor, but none of its projects have taken off.

In February 1995, a consortium of Indian and us-based firms was established to develop a "full range of residential, commercial, transportation and environmental infrastructure in the Bangalore-Mysore region". A memorandum of understanding was signed with the then chief minister H D Deve Gowda. nice, jointly set up by the Pune-based Kalyani Group, and the us-based sab International Ltd and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc, is developing bmicp on a build-own-operate-transfer basis. Five townships have also been planned along the expressway, but the plans have not made any headway.

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