Staff Correspondent

`The controversy has died down'

DAVANGERE: Janata Dal (Secular) State unit president M.P. Prakash has said he foresees no danger to the coalition government in the wake of the controversy over the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project.

Addressing presspersons here on Wednesday, he said the controversy had "died down". His party wanted Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd. (NICE), which is implementing the project, to go by the original agreement. It would not tolerate a deviation. Janata Dal (S) president H.D. Deve Gowda, who had conceived the highway project to ease congestion on the Bangalore-Mysore, was opposing it as NICE had allegedly acquired 2,450 acres of land in excess, he added. Mr. Deve Gowda wanted the land to be returned to farmers, Mr. Prakash said.

Hassan Staff Correspondent reports: Former Minister for Public Works and Energy H.D. Revanna has alleged that senior officials of the Public Works Department forged documents to enable NICE to acquire government and private land in and around Bangalore during the term of the Congress government headed by S.M. Krishna.

Speaking to presspersons on Wednesday after launching "Product Dairy" at Shettihalli, near Channarayapatna, he sought an investigation by the Corps of Detectives to bring out what he called facts about the project. He said the Government was not against the implementation of the project in the way it was planned originally, but was opposed to alleged intentions of NICE to "grab" land owned by the poor.

Reacting to the allegation of Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly N. Dharam Singh that the Government planned to take over the BMIC project as Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had a personal interest in it, he said the statement was unbecoming of a leader of Mr. Singh's stature.

Minister for Forests C. Chennigappa, who was here for a discussion on the elephant menace in the district, told presspersons that the Congress was making allegations related to the BMIC project as it was wary of the achievements of the coalition.