Bengaluru: Former Minister and State Government’s Special Representative in Delhi T.B. Jayachandra has called for the Government to take over the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Road due to the construction of the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway.
Speaking to the media in Bengaluru on Monday, Jayachandra stated that there is now no need for a separate entity like NICE, considering the full operational status of the Expressway.
He highlighted that as far back as 2016, he had submitted a comprehensive report from a Legislature Committee he chaired. This report had recomm-ended a thorough investigation into the entire project and the takeover of the additional land granted to NICE. The report had indicted NICE for various violations, including breaching the Framework Agreement (FWA), excessive land acquisition, toll collection without proper road infrastructure, and unauthorised mining.
Jayachandra emphasised that it is the responsibility of the Siddharamaiah-led government to act on the report’s recommendations and assume control of the project in the best interest of the State’s finances and Bengaluru’s development.
He stated that there’s no need for another road project between Bengaluru and Mysuru, as both the Centre and State have already established an eight-lane highway. Addressing the limited options available, the Congress leader stressed that the matter should be referred back to the State Cabinet for further consideration, ultimately requiring a decision from the Cabinet.
The Committee had recommended involving national agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate, and Central Vigilance Commission, or equivalent investigative bodies, to look into the alleged widespread irregularities in executing the multi-crore private infrastructure project.
Jayachandra’s statement takes on significance in light of the announcement by former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who expressed intentions to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The purpose of these meetings would be to request a CBI investigation into the alleged NICE Road scandal.
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