The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda on Saturday demanded that the State government take over the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) following what he described as serious violation of the orders of both the Supreme Court and the Karnataka High Court.
Speaking to presspersons, he urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to order a probe into the company’s failure to implement its commitment to pay compensation to the farmers according to the original agreement, and prosecute the company for the same.
He alleged that the company indulged in serious frauds and even fabricated documents to its advantage after the apex court upheld the Karnataka High Court judgment in the Somashekar Reddy case.
Recalling the written promise by the company to the government during his Chief Ministership, Mr. Deve Gowda said it had committed to paying compensation to farmers, but, it now has questioned the Deputy Commissioner’s decision of fixing the rate at Rs. 40 lakh an acre near Bidadi, and was ready to pay only Rs. 7 lakh. In a letter to Mr. Siddaramaiah on December 2, 2013, the JD(S) president reminded him that he, along with the then Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president R.V. Deshpande, staged a dharna before the then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in 2009 to protest against the illegalities in the implementation of the project. Referring to the company writ petition filed before the court volunteering to give 40 per cent of the land to the farmers, Mr. Deve Gowda termed it a ploy of evasion till the Right to Pay Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act was notified on January 1, 2014.
He said the Act stipulated that farmers should be paid four times the guidance value of the land acquired, thanks to the interest shown by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Any attempt by the company to take possession of the land before paying the compensation under the new central Act should be stopped, he said.