Former Prime Minister and JD (S) supremo H. D. Deve Gowda has urged Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa to come out with the white paper on the execution of the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project since it was conceived in 1995.
Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday, Mr Gowda said a formal letter to the BJP Government in the State seeking a white paper on the execution of BMIC project will be on Chief Minister’s table in a day or two. “The white paper should cover the implementation of the BMIC project through the tenures of all the five Chief Ministers, who had succeeded him. It will expose the persons responsible for the deviation of the project from the original plan conceived during his tenure as Chief Minister in 1995”, he said.
Mr Gowda alleged that hundreds of acres of excess land was being acquired from the farmers in the vicinity of the project site on the outskirts of Bangalore through “threats and coercion” for building projects like “Film City”, which were not part of the original BMIC plan.
Also, Mr Gowda claimed the original memorandum of understanding he signed during 1995 had made it clear that entire parcel of land allotted for the construction of the state-of-the-art expressway between Bangalore and Mysore as part of the BMIC project should be reverted back to the State Government after 30 years. “The agreement said that the land should not be alienated at any cost. But, shockingly, a total of 1,077 acres has been transferred to the company executing the project through an absolute sale deed”, Mr Gowda said.
The JD (S) leader said the sale deeds had been executed in favour of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) and its sister concern Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises Limited between 2003 and 2009. The Principal Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD) had in a letter dated November 19, 2009 cautioned the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) against executing the sale deeds.
The company, had in turn, pledged with the banks the land allotted by the Government to raise large sums of money. The Government land on which poor Dalit families had constructed houses too was being handed over to the company for Rs 10 an acre.
A resident of Kengeri on the outskirts of Bangalore Umashankar, who was allegedly stabbed for refusing to part with excess land, was also present at the press conference. “Though we have already given land for the BMIC project, they were bringing pressure on us to part with excess land. I was stabbed when I refused to oblige”, he said.
Ms Ningamma, another resident of Sompura along the proposed BMIC project near Bangalore, said their family had parted with much of their land for the project. “We have retained a few acres that did not come in the way of the project. But, we are under pressure to sell that piece of land also. They beat my son for refusing to part with land”, she said.