The former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda on Sunday accused Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), which is executing the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project of utilising the services of a “private army” to demolish a resort on the outskirts of the city on Saturday and acquire its land for construction of the Peripheral Road.
Addressing presspersons here , Mr. Gowda said the resort situated on around three acres of land in Gottigere had about 250 coconut trees, besides concrete structures. “The private army of NICE comprising retired police and Army officials razed the structures and felled the trees,” he alleged.
Mr. Gowda said: “When resort owner Pattabhiraman, approached me on Friday after he learnt about the imminent demolition, I immediately contacted Chief Secretary to the State Government S.V. Ranganath, who promised to speak to the Chief Executive Officer of the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) Sham Bhat.”
Unfortunately, in a pre-dawn raid on Saturday, NICE personnel, who were provided security cover by the police, switched off electricity supply to the resort and demolished it, much to the chagrin of the resort owner and his family.
“There was no official from either the KIADB or the Revenue Department during the demolition. The private army of NICE was given security by a posse of 500 to 600 policemen,” Mr. Gowda alleged.
Meanwhile, when The Hindu contacted KIADB, Mr. Sham Bhat said KIADB officials were not involved in the demolition.
“We have received a call from the Chief Secretary. No personnel from KIADB was present when the demolition was carried out. If we were to carry it out, we would have given the owner seven days' notice,” he clarified.
‘Land handed over'
However, Mr Bhat said that KIADB had handed over the land on which the resort was situated to NICE following a High Court order.
“Where is the rule of law here? Should the land owners consume poison in the name of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa or the judiciary or NICE?,” an emotional Deve Gowda sought to know.