BANGALORE, January 7, 2014: Intensifying his fight against the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), which is executing the controversial Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project, the former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) national president H.D. Deve Gowda on Monday urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to take over the project from the private company in a bid to protect the interests of farmers, who are losing their lands for the project.
Describing the implementation of the project as an “international fraud”, Mr. Deve Gowda said he would seek the intervention of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi — who has been voicing his concerns against corruption — on the issue to ensure that the government takes over the project.
“Mr. Rahul Gandhi has been saying that he will not allow injustice to farmers in the wake of the Centre bringing about a new land acquisition Act to take care of farmers’ interests. I will bring the BMIC issue to his notice and tell him how the farmers are getting a raw deal. He must take steps to ensure that farmers are given better compensation as per the provisions of the new Act,” Mr. Deve Gowda told a press conference in Bangalore.
He said: “If need be, I will also draw the attention of Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal on the BMIC issue.”
Mr. Deve Gowda said Mr. Siddaramaiah was the Finance Minister when the State government, led by him as Chief Minister, had entered into a memorandum of understanding with the NICE in 1996 to provide faster connectivity between Bangalore and Mysore.
“But, instead of making its own investments, the company has only mortgaged government land to get bank loans to pay compensation to farmers,” he alleged, and also accused the company of violating various norms.
“Mr. Siddaramaiah is in an ideal situation to act, as he knows everything about the BMIC project.”