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BMIC: land acquired, project takes shape; but where is the plan?

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Krishnaprasad

Based on the drawings land should have been identified and handed over

NICE says that it did submit all the necessary alignment drawings

PWD says the drawings were either incomplete or did not contain crucial information

Bangalore: It has now come to light that even though a major portion of the peripheral and link roads being built as part of the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) have been completed, the State Government is still not in possession of the detailed technical drawings based on which land should have been identified and handed over for the project before the commencement of work.

This is revealed in letters exchanged between the main players involved in the project such as the Principal Secretary of Public Works Department (PWD); the Chief Engineer of the PWD; Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE); Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB); and others, between May 2006 and July 2008, copies of which are in possession of The Hindu.

Crucial role

According to official sources, the detailed drawings play a crucial role in identifying the exact extent and location of land claimed by NICE in each of the survey numbers required for the road or for other purposes, as defined in the Frame Work Agreement (FWA) that the State Government signed with NICE in 1997. In fact, the officials said, it was in the absence of such drawings that the KIADB was able to acquire excess land of almost 7,000 acres for the BMICP. “Just like an approved building plan must clearly indicate the set-back area, built-up area, and so on, the detailed technical drawings indicating the extent of land and its location according to engineering specifications is essential for any road project,” an official said.

The drawings must show the extent of land required in each survey number on the cadastral map. They should also contain the location of the required land and its measurement.

Incomplete

In its reply to queries from the PWD, NICE argued that it did, in fact, submit all the necessary alignment drawings. However, the PWD in its response has said that the drawings submitted were either incomplete or did not contain crucial information for identifying the exact location of land for the project.

“The maps showing the road alignment submitted by NICE and approved by the PWD engineers in the early years of the project were schematic, and no detailed drawings were submitted, let alone technically verified or approved,” said an official. A letter drafted by the Chief Engineer dated June 16, 2008 states that “…the drawings submitted by NICE in 2007 do not contain the extent of land and its location in each survey number.”

A top official said, “These drawings are necessary for every such project. All confusion and doubts regarding the requirement of land will be cleared if the drawings are submitted. The project can then be executed quickly. This will also make the process of implementation of the project transparent.”

“The KIADB, that over the years has acquired and handed over land to NICE without obtaining an essentiality certificate from the Government, now appears to have woken up and is seeking the essentiality certificate. This is after the explanation sought by the Government on how the excess land was handed over to the company,” said an official.

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