Special Correspondent

About 80 per cent of work on the first phase completed: official

Bangalore: Bharat Forge-promoted Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICE), the special purpose vehicle implementing the Rs. 2,200-crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMIC), said on Thursday that it will focus on completing the project expeditiously as a public-private partnership (PPP) along with Karnataka Government.

The statement has been issued in the wake of the Supreme Court giving green signal for completion of the project, which was mired in a political controversy.

The judgment will help the Chief Minister expedite completion of the BMIC project, it said.

Giving the construction status of the project, an NICE official said about 80 per cent of the work on the first phase of the project had been completed.

NICE has decided to float separate subsidiaries to develop each of the three phases of the BMIC project. It has already floated Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprise Ltd. to implement the first phase, involving 41 km of the four-lane expressway linking National Highways 7 and 4, about 9 km connecting the Bangalore-Mysore Expressway with State Highway 17, and 12 km of the elevated expressway connecting Link Road to downtown Bangalore and a township.

The judgment is seen as a major setback for the Janata Dal (Secular), if not for the coalition Government in the State.

The Janata Dal (Secular) leadership, especially former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, had opposed some of the components of the expressway project such as townships to be built between Bangalore and Mysore.

Reacting to the Supreme Court judgment in Koppal, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the Government was not against development projects. It would be the concern of the Government to protect its properties, he said.

The Government will consult legal experts and decide on the future of action in the light of the Supreme Court judgment , Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs B.S. Horatti has said.