At least 450 people, who have been affected by the Bangalore-Mysore expressway project, are expected to file Interlocutory Applications before the Karnataka High Court against Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) on Wednesday.
The submissions of this large group of people is to counter an application filed by the promoters of NICE who have sought the quashing of an investigation by the Lokayukta Court into the alleged irregularities committed by the company.
The group has been put together by activist T.J. Abraham, who had filed the private complaint against NICE in the Lokayukta Court. It is on the basis of this complaint that the Lokayukta Court had ordered an investigation.
Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a meeting of the group on Tuesday, Mr. Abraham said that the mobilisation of the 400-plus petitioners started on December 26. “We went from village to village talking to people, starting from Srirangapatna through Maddur, Mandya, Ramanagaram, Channapatna, Bidadi and finally Bangalore,” he said.
In each village that they went to, Mr. Abraham and his team discovered that the local residents had been kept in the dark about the project’s details. For instance, Mr. Abraham said, in Srirangapatna, where a 4,285-acre township is planned, the residents thought that the project had been cleared by the State Cabinet. “They were shocked when they discovered that the township had been included fraudulently without seeking Cabinet clearance,” he said. People who live along the proposed stretch of the expressway between Srirangapatna and Bangalore did not know that the approved area for acquisition is only 5,119.37 acres and not 6,999 acres, he said. Meaning, 1,879.63 acres of excess land was sought to be acquired, he said. Mr. Abraham said that in order to acquire the excess land, the promoters of NICE, in collusion with politicians and bureaucrats, never charted out the lands identified for acquisition on a map. “Now, there are hundreds of people who are going to implead in the case before the High Court stating that their lands fall in the 1,879.63 acres.”