Staff Reporter

`Politicians creating hurdles to protect vested interests'

  • BMIC project cost over-run put at Rs. 1,000 crore
  • `Politicians and bureaucrats own land along project path'

    BANGALORE: The Rs. 2,000-crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project will be completed against all odds, even though the delay, and legal and bureaucratic hurdles have caused a cost over-run of Rs. 1,000 crore, Ashok Kheny, Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd. (NICE), has said.

    Participating in a meet-the-press programme organised by the Press Club of Bangalore here on Saturday, Mr. Kheny said though the Government had not invested a single rupee in the project, politicians and bureaucrats were creating hurdles of every kind to protect their land holding and vested interests.

    He alleged that politicians from all parties and several IAS and KAS officers owned vast tracts of land along the project path and they were obfuscating issues to cover up their illegal holdings by persecuting him.

    He had spent Rs. 1,000 crore on the project's peripheral road component alone, he said.

    He had not violated any law or encroached upon 20 water bodies as alleged by Environment Support Group, a Bangalore-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), he said.

    Mr. Kheny said there should be an inquiry into the functioning of the NGO and asked to reveal its source of funds. He dismissed as false and wrong the maps shown by NGO's coordinator Leo Saldanha, indicating deviation from the approved alignment along the 41-km peripheral road from Tumkur Road to Hosur Road.

    He sought to know why the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board was singling him out while everywhere water bodies were being encroached upon.

    Mr. Kheny said that he had to seek the intervention of courts at every step of implementing the project.