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Accountability on BMIC and Potential Meeting with Mr. Kheny

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Infrastructure

I am a new member of Praja and am excited to see the possibilities.

The main project that comes to mind is BMIC / NICE. There seems no credible and accountable source of information on progress for this anticipated project except for Hon. Deve Gowda complaining about land allocation. Core issues:

  1. NICE Site http://www.nicelimited.com has not been updated since Year 2000
  2. No Status available except latest news on Star of Mysore claiming a completion of Dec 2009 - I am assuming this is the road from Mysore to Bangalore
  3. No Work currently in progress on the Bannergatta Road Crossing from Electronic City to Kanakpura Road. The core update needed is "When are they finishing Hosur Road to Tumkur Road and relieving pressure on Bangalore City? How is the current government holding them accountable?

Any ideas on how we can setup a Praja meeting with Mr. Ashok Kheny? Secondly, how can we setup a second recurring meeting with Government officials on their take? Any advice is greatly appreciated. I plan to stop in the NICE office and ask for a meeting. What is the process for setting up a meeting on behalf of Praja?

Comments

tsubba's picture

BMIC Meet

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couldn't agree more. that will be awesome sumsri. i will bump this thread. perhaps interest folks will contact you. hopefully a schedule will come up. i have sent emails previously to NICE. always bounces back. another point i agree is that HDDG's media outpourings are perhaps the only source of any information on the project. nobody else talks of any details. currently, the govt has asked for detailed plans from NICE against which they plan to grant land.
Ravi_D's picture

Have you seen this?

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Searching for info on NICE, rememebred looking at this quite some time ago. Don't know the legitimacy of any of the claims in these websites. Certainly difficult to get info when there is no transparency.

http://www.esgindia.org/campaigns/bmic/current/current.html

Here is another link I had seen in the past.

http://www.indiatogether.org/stories/bmicvhb.htm

Most of the info I have seen so far seem to indicate negative publicity. On the other hand, I have travelled on NICE peripheral road, and it is certainly better than any other I have drivern on recently in and around Bangalore. But, not sure of the kind of politics involved.

Ravi

tsubba's picture

yeah.

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thanks for the links. i have gone through their sites. and have a fair idea about their position. but i have realized that the road and the townships could potentially be beneficial for bangalore. however, by all visible indications the project is veering way beyond that objective of roads and townships. now there are conference halls and theme parks and even movie studios on the list. now all of these are happy things to have but that was not what was on the original list. all these things take space on ground which comes out of bangalore. its as if we have outsourced a significant chunk of BDA/BMRDA work to NICE. for a project of this size and scope one would imagine that planning and maps that show details to the second decimal place exist somewhere. but apparently, even the government is groping in the dark. a decade into the project, they are still asking for detailed maps from NICE. how did this all happen without plans? how did KIADB go about acquiring lands without maps? to be brutally honest, i am not interested in the zillions of court rulings. most court cases are fought on logical and legal technicalities. these rulings dont help us understand anything about the project or its benefit itself. that is these rulings dont tell us anything about either the nyaaya or the nijaaythi of the project. that can only be gauged if something realistic is known about the project. in the absence of any public information, i think it is sensible to assume the worst about the project. it could be good for bangalore, it could be the worst thing for bangalore. but there is some sort of hanky panky going on in this project and that is defintely not good for bangalore. for a city that is cash strapped despite being home to the highest number of tax payers in the country, we need to know if bangalore was sold at a fair price. and i have not even said anything about the land losers.
psaram42's picture

Sitting Pretty on a good investment

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sumsri has hit on one of the many hornets nests. Deve Gowda and Co was on to Kheny tooth and nail. Now we have Shobha Karndajle on the same path. She wants 1 crore compensation per each acre of land given to Kheny, for the farmers. It is a Very Nice statement for public consumption. But what happens behind the scenes is only a guess, best known to the real players. Common People are only the hapless onlookers.

---Ananthram PS, Senior Citizen

blrsri's picture

last read..

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 DG was warning BSY not to take any hasty decissions till the 17th Aug when there is yet another hearing in the SC about NICE..

On ground I was told that BWSSB had shifted the pipeline which was causing impediments near the junction where the NICE road joins the ORR(Around PES eng college). NICE should be set now to complete this stretch..

tsubba's picture

BWSSB Vs NICE

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sri, that was a different case. court has high court ruled on it. hence work. see this for background: http://praja.in/2007/12/1... see this for court order: http://praja.in/2007/12/1...
Ravi_D's picture

More contests to follow

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And another non-verdict today. I've a very bad feeling about this whole thing.

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Aug52008/scroll2008080582889.asp?section=updatenews

blrsri: We did loose water for two or three days because of pipeline work. Hope that is a new starting point to go somewhere. If there is no start, NICE roads end up connecting nothing, after spending tons of money - like the link road near PES that has no entry and no exit (dead ends at Uttarahalli main road).

Thanks,

Ravi

Vasanth's picture

Root cause for absence of transparency is the real estate prices

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Question that raises is why didn't Kheny started the work as soon as the agreement was signed with the then CM of Karnataka Mr.DG. Why did they start so late? Was there not any timelines set?

Second thing is Mr.DG nods his head to DLF group for Bidadi Township and why not to Mr.Kheny? If Mr.DG is so concious of Farmers why didn't he protest at that time?

This is where internal 'understanding' between builders and politicians comes into picture. One of our family friend had a huge old house in V.V.Puram. They wanted to convert into apartments. For that, the then MLA of that area demanded 2 flats to him to give the permission. When they said they cannot, he with held all the permissions quoting 'n' number of reasons.Unfortunately that MLA lost his seat this election, I don't know what's the status now. This is an example to illustrate the greed of politicians in real estate.

This whole real estate business in Bangalore is lacking in transparency. If you speak to any real estate agent or whoever who is in this real estate business, there is no transparency.They will do 'n' number of things to confuse you.

Lots of people became rich overnight because of the realestate related business in Bangalore. Mysore, which was a pensioner's paradise 5-6 years back has also become unreachable now due to the pseudo hike in realestate prices with  the reasons such as 'INFY' came to Mysore, NICE is going to start, double track between Bangalore-Mysore is taking place, Airport is coming up, Bangalore-Mysore road is 4 lane - blah blah blah. There were very few real estate agents in Mysore without any business, now there are 5-6 real estate agents every road all of them roaming around lavishly. Samething here, people wants to use the opportunity.

Technically speaking, BMIC is a good road with all the safety measures compared to existing Bangalore-Mysore. But, it again encourages 'Car' based travel of America which 'America' itself is struggling due to increased gas prices. Also, we have discussed and seeing daily the road rages of Bangaloreans  specifically and whole of India generally. It clearly states that we are not fit for this 'expressways' and we unnecessarily loose precious lives. We have expressway without Monitoring and Patroling. Demand is on excellent high speed rail based transit for India like Eurostar or ICE atleast at 150kmph.  

 

Ravi_D's picture

Something is brewing

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From DH this morning:

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Aug62008/state2008080683042.asp

BMIC related news has started to trickle out again. Something brewing?

Ravi

Permission for apartments

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blrsri's picture

what about gottigere?

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'Empowered' committe (yawn!) has approved land acqisition at major junctions for the NICE PRR. But what about the Gottigere lake off Bannerghatta Road ?

How many cases are still pending on this? why didnt the Empowered group not decide on this?

 

Rithesh's picture

Vasanth, you could not have said it any better

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I completely agree with your railway link suggestion. But given that this road is finally getting into shape, forget all hopes for a high speed railway link - the invisible hands will never let that happen.

 

tsubba's picture

blast from the past

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look who was saying this back then ... ... we have to amend land laws and townplanning laws, land aqcuisition act also has to be changed drastically. we have to invoke emergency laws. provisions made in case of railways and defence ... such benefits should be given to these areas also. otherwise an investor comes, he starts the work some goes to work and he takes the stay order that goes on for two years three years,... no investor will come. but beyond politics and politicians... railways have certain leverage. and because we have not been able to align railways interests with bangalore's interests, we are in no position to capitalize on that leverage. and yet metro is seriously jeopardized exactly because of land acquisition problems. is this the penalty we paid for wresting control from IR by choosing standard guage instead of broad guage for metro? meanwhile, governments came and governments spending in an inordinate amount of energy in managing politics rather than governance. beyond saying metro is a priority, what are the legal bottlenecks for metro? and what is the cm doing about it?
tsubba's picture

BMIC promises galore

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http://www.hindu.com/2008... All the land losers will be given the price fixed by the Government, in addition to a site. Mr. Kheny has also promised to provide employment in his company for one member of each land-losing family by providing them necessary training. Also, all the villages to be displaced for the project, will be constructed afresh. Televisions “We will not only construct houses for them, but also provide televisions to each family,” he said. Disputing former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s charge that NICE was seeking excess land, Mr. Kheny said he did not want an inch of land more than the agreement between NICE and the Government made during 1997-98.
silkboard's picture

sent a mail to NICE email id ...

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... requesting for a meeting. Mail didn't bounce, so the email id still works (I wasn't hopeful of that, given the state of NICE website :) ). Lets see if we manage a reply, or the meeting itself.

silkboard's picture

Heard from Mr Kheny's office

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So we do have a meeting on the cards. He is currently out of country, we should soon hear on a date for the meeting. Stay tuned!
tsubba's picture

BRAVO!!!

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Finally!!! You've managed to perturb the otherwise unmovable bull resting in the middle of the road. Even to get it to snort, is an achievemnt. Responding to an email!! This has to be a first. Bravo!  :)
nandi kadalisida dheera!!
silkboard's picture

Easy tarle, wasn't via email

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Reached his office through someone here who had a contact, that email on NICE website didn't fetch any response. But anyway, lets wait to hear on the date.

But I am thinking we wont do a pure journalistic job of this meeting. Perhaps only ask about the framework agreeements, why they aren't in open domain. May be just one question asking for his take on KIADB's 7000 bonus acres controversy. Rest of the time, lets ask him about how he got the expressway designed, does he plan to bid for more in the state (he had spoken of Kolar-Mangalore expresway in an interview to a Dakshin Kannada paper or website) and similar things.

Ravi_D's picture

Good news....

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Email or phone, it is nice to be able to meet with NICE!.

Well done SB.

I think we should also hear NICE's interpretation of the current project status, and get an updated schedule of sorts...

Thanks,

Ravi

s_yajaman's picture

Watch outs

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On TV sets - reminded me of "if they can't have bread let the eat cake" :) 

IMHO, we clearly don't want to get into the politics of NICE.  That is treading a minefield. Keeping things fact based is probably the way to go.  I would like to understand

a. When the BMIC PRR is expected to get completed including Gottigere

b. Do they plan (by working with the govt of course) to extend the PRR till NH-7 given that they can get a significant amount of airport traffic. 

c. How do they plan to control speeding on their expressways?  As Vasanth put it - we are as a society not really ready for fast cars and high speeds. 

d. There was some talk of mono-rail, etc.  That eats into their car revenues.  What is in it for them to implement train and mono-rail?

e. Their side of the story on land acquisition - delicate one.  But I would like to understand.  Land acquisition needs to follow a principle (IMHO) which I learnt in my previous company - as much as necessary as little as possible.

Srivathsa

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

silkboard's picture

yes sri - no investigative media like thing

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Lets ask for facts and whatever documents he can share. I am tempted to offer a redo of NICE website (its so old looking), but I will control myself :)

Whenever you meet people, you get feelings about them - face, body language, emotions, mannerisms tell you things that no newspaper or NGO reports can. Personally, it'll be good to just meet up and hear him expain his side in this whole messy project.

About stats, I'd like to hear his revenue projections, and basis for those numbers. How much traffic does he expect? When will he start tolling the peripheral road? Any plans to incentivize public transport on his roads or elsewhere as a CSR gesture? Who will police NICE roads - a security agency from NICE, or state police? What made him bet so big on Bangalore-Mysore region 12 years ago?

silkboard's picture

update - its still on, may be next week

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"he is supposed to be back this week, let me try and fix a meeting for you next week" - from Mr R who is helping arrange this meeting.

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