People who are losing their land to the first township proposed as part of the contentious Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) held a demonstration in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue on M.G. Road here on Wednesday to protest against the acquisition which they said went against court verdicts.

The protesters, from 12 villages near Bidadi, alleged that the location of the township was changed subsequent to the verdicts (of the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court delivered in 1998-99) by some State government officials in collusion with Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), which is implementing the project. They said they were kept in the dark for many years about the change in location by both the government and NICE.

The villagers pointed out that the court had upheld a project plan way back in 1998. However, in the Outer Development Plan (ODP) for the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Area Planning Authority, notified on February 12, 2004, the government incorporated a different plan, which it was trying to palm off as the one approved by the court, they alleged.

The villagers criticised Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli for his recent submission before the Supreme Court in a contempt petition that the project might be allowed to be completed as per the ODP. This established that the government did allow NICE to carry out the project contrary to the court’s earlier orders.

The land losers were scathing about a paltry compensation of about Rs. 88,000 an acre based on the 1999 value as against the present value ranging from Rs. 40 lakh to Rs. 60 lakh per acre.

Siddaramaiah and V.S. Ugrappa, Leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, reassured the agitating villagers they would take up their cause.

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