BMIC project hits roadblock; Nice authorities likely to meet Sonia

Bangalore, March 22 | Updated: Mar 23 2005, 05:30am hrs
The Bangalore Mysore infrastructure corridor project (BMIC), which has been the centre of much political drama in Karnataka, may get a helping hand from the Centre, according to sources.

The nodal agency for the Rs 2,250 crore project --Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (Nice) -- was hoping to meet Sonia Gandhi to appraise her of the political hurdles created by the coalition partner JD(S) for the project, said company sources.

At a time when the Union government is keen to attract investments into the construction and infrastructure projects, political interference in the project is said to have caught the attention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself. Company sources said Nice was in touch with authorities at the Centre to seek help for taking the project forward smoothly.

Nice, which has so far invested around Rs 350 crore in the project, had earlier won over 336 writ appeals filed against the project (alleging excess and illegal land acquisitions). The latest controversy was created when Nice, as per state government and high court orders, decided to hand over more than 10 acres of land for an infrastructure project to Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers Association (IMTMA). Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda (who had originally cleared the project when he was Karnataka CM), is said to have prompted the state government not to release the land to IMTMA.

IMTMA is planning to shift the project to Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu if the state government fails to provide the sought land on the corridor.