Defying SC orders, Karnataka works on Bill to grab country’s first private road project
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In a bid to defy the Supreme Court go-ahead on the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP), the Karnataka government plans to bring in a Bill that will allow the state to take over the country's first private infrastructure project from its implementer, the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE).
The draft Bill has been readied for a special legislature session starting tomorrow, said sources in the state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry.
The move comes after the Supreme Court, in an April 20 order, took the Karnataka government to task and cleared the expressway project. It had run into numerous roadblocks put up by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and his Janata Dal (Secular) party, a partner in the previous Dharam Singh coalition.
The court not only slapped a Rs 5 lakh fine but told the state it had "malafide intention" when it appealed a Karnataka High Court ruling which favoured continuance of the project.
Now, inspired by Deve Gowda and brother H D Revanna, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy plans to pilot the Streamlining of Karnataka Infrastructure Development and Land Reforms Bill 2006. It aims to enable government takeover of large engineering projects in the state and names the BMICP specifically.
The Bill, if passed, would allow cancellation of the 1997 Framework Agreement for the BMICP, recently upheld by the Supreme Court. It would enable auction of land which Deve Gowda alleges have been acquired in excess of project requirement and abolish a special BMIC area planning authority, sources said.
"The Bill has been discussed and finalised at the level of the public works, law and parliamentary affairs department. We would like discussion on the Bill in the legislature soon. As of now there is, however, only the Office of Profit issue on the agenda for the special session," said Basavaraj Horatti, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister from Gowda's Janata Dal Secular party.
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