The BMIC Controversy.......Is the Govt. Right ?
The legislature session on Monday got off to a stormy start in the background of the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project controversy and related developments. Both the Legislative Assembly and the Council did not transact any business before they were adjourned for the day following the Congress, which is the main Opposition in both Houses, launching a dharna. Leaders of the Congress sought to move an adjournment motion in both Houses of legislature. The plea was rejected resulting in the Opposition launching a dharna.
The ambitious BMIC project has seen mudslinging for quite sometime now between the state government and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on one side and NICE, the company behind the project on the other. The JD(S) seems to be continuing its hardline approach and wants to nullify the contract and take over the entire project supported by the Chief Minister Mr. H D Kumaraswamy.
Undeterred by the controversy surrounding the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, its promoters the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited (NICE) went ahead and threw open the 9 Km stretch Bangalore- Mysore Peripheral Road to the public. Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), which in May 1995 signed an MoU with the government for executing the project that envisages construction of a four-lane expressway, five townships and supporting infrastructure, alleged that there were repeated attempts to scuttle the Rs 2,750 crore BMIC project.
Three-hundred-and-fifteen court cases have been filed against the project so far and more trouble seems to be brewing with the Karnataka government planning on coming up with a new law to take over the private project.
So what is this BMIC Project ?
Since Bangalore was bursting at its seams, in 1995 the Government of Karnataka approved the development of a comprehensive urban and transport related infrastructure corridor between Bangalore and Mysore called the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP). It proposes to cut down the travel time between these two cities to 1.5 hours from the 3.5 hours it takes today.
Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) is the implementation agency. The Kalyani Group, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin & SAB Eng (both U.S. companies), signed contract in 1995 with the Chief Minister Devegowda and later the Framework Agreement (Being the constitution of the Project) was signed in Feb 1997 with NICE Limited under the leadership of Chief Minister JH Patel.
Bangalore - is the fastest growing metro in India, with a population growth rate of more than 3.5 percent per annum. This city was originally created to house 200,000 people, and is severely congested by housing its 7.5 million residents. Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of the East, fueled by the infotech revolution sweeping across India. Consequent problems are choked and narrow roads unable to handle the growing vehicular traffic, power and water shortages, and severe air, water and noise pollution.
Probably for the first time in India, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Limited (NICE), utilized the services of the Satellite imagery wing of the prestigious Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) - National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA). The NRSA used its Telemetry Tracking and Command (TTC) function, (carried out by ISRO Telemetry Tracking and Command Centres (ISTRAC) ground station located at Bangalore) to determine the Land required for the Project.
This is the only Infrastructure Project involving gestation period of nearly 10 years to get all required orders and has seen:
o 7 Prime Ministers
Probably making this THE MOST SCRUTINIZED PROJECT in Karnataka and maybe even in India.
The primary features of the BMIC Project are, 75 Meter wide 41 Kilometer Peripheral Road Connecting NH 4 Bangalore Pune road, Magadi Road, Mysore Road, Kanakapura Road, Bannergatta Road and NH 7 Hosur Road. 60 Meter wide 9 Kilometer Link road, connecting the center of the city to the Expressway and The 90 Meter wide 111 Kilometer Expressway connecting Bangalore to Mysore. 16 Interchanges act as mini commercial hubs besides facilitating easy entry and exits for the road users. The Main component of the Project is Five self sustaining townships along the expressway and a 400 MW Power Plant, 2 TMC Water Supply pipeline and Sewerage Treatment plant. The total land required for the Project is 20,193 Acres. This project aims bridge the urban and rural divide and aims to accelerate the development of area widely perceived as the economic backbone of Karnataka. In addition, the corridor will also link the fast growing industrial area at Bidadi on the way to Mysore where some large multinational corporations such as Toyota, General Electric, Coke, and Pepsi are situated.
Besides helping achieve the economic growth of the region, the project will also help to alleviate the problem of the commercial traffic traveling on the busy NH 4 and NH 7 (linking Chennai in the south to Mumbai in the west) without crossing central Bangalore by a fast, grade-separated peripheral road.
The Interchanges located at periodic intervals on the link, Peripheral and expressway road, would provide for infrastructures such as, toll plaza, petrol bunks, Truck Terminals, Bus Terminals, public amenities, trauma care, hazard management centre, traffic control, storage facilities for the goods, power generation and distribution centers and also provision for sewage treatment plants and commercial and residential establishments etc.
The right of way of the expressway will also carry Telecommunication network (Fiber Optic cables), Power and Gas lines, which would cater to the needs of the Project.
The benefits of the project are: creation of world-class infrastructure facilities, peripheral road to help heavy truck traffic bypass the city of Bangalore, leading to decongestion of the city. Due to implementation of the Project the level of noise and air pollution will drop significantly, and it will create green areas out of barren and non-cultivable lands.
There will be a reduction in fuel consumption for all users of the toll roads as well as Bangalore citizens due to less congestion on city roads.
Bangalore will also experience a reduction in travel time and accident rate. Approximately 700 people lose their lives in road accidents every year in Bangalore currently. The municipal corporation will save on the maintenance cost on existing city roads to the tune of Rs60-80 Crores. There will be new employment opportunities, inducing economic growth in the regions due to the corridor, rural to urban migration will be arrested, and for the farmers? They stand to gain too, since there will be newer markets for their produce, the educational status of the rural population, and they will have an incentive to progress. Better housing, clothing, and recreational facilities will act as oppositional forces to urban centers.
The Project will also generate more than 1,000 Jobs directly and 1 Lakh Jobs indirectly due to the economic development in the region, while generating more than Rs 300/- to Rs 3, 000/- Crores in revenue for the State Government due to this project.
This Corridor Project is aimed at the bridging the Urban and Rural divide. The Project has been divided into three phases namely;
Phase 1 Consisting of 41 Kilometer of Peripheral Road (75 Meters width) connecting NH 7 - Hosur Road (near Electronic City) to NH 4 - Tumkur Road (Near Peenya Industrial Area), 9.1 Kilometer of Link Road and 12 Kilometers of Expressway connecting the first township The Corporate Center near Bidadi.
Link Road Cross Section
Second Phase: This section consists of Two Township namely Commercial center Industrial Centre and construction of 13 kilometers of Expressway
Third phase: This section consists of Two Township namely Heritage Center and Eco-Tourism Center and the remaining portion of Expressway
Final Phase would consist of the 3 Kilometer of elevated Link
road (Connecting City Center to the Link Road)
The Cost of the project is Rs2, 250 Crore (Only Land Acquisition and Road component) and the total investment into the project is expected to exceed Rs18,000 Crores.
is grateful to Mr. Manjunath Nayaker, Senior Manager (PR &
Liason) NICE Ltd., for the above information and Mrs. U B Githa for
coordinating with Mr. Nayaker to bring this exclusive feature on the
controversial BMIC Project.
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