E R RAMACHANDRAN writes: The Bangalore–Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) project of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) is turning out to be a one-way street for fights, affidavits, counter affidavits and stay orders.
Every now and then, the promoter of the project is seen in newspapers hugging villagers in some obscure place at the proposed site and announcing ‘all things have been tied up’ and work will ‘start simultaneously on many fronts’.
On the other side, the Government flexes its muscles determined to stop the project on its muddy tracks. The Supreme Court, on its part, has requisitioned for more gavels, as continuous and ceaseless rapping of GOK softened their gavels and it didn’t seem to hurt them any more.
I wanted to find out from the horses’ mouth where the project was heading assuming there are only two horses, as at present.
First I went and met the promoter in a field eating kadalekai amidst some villagers. He looked more like a cross between a lawyer and a mason and hardly the debonair businessman from the US of A who claimed his love for hometown brought him to this project.
“Sir, ever since you announced the BMIC Project, you seem to be spending your time, mostly in courts,” I started.
“I also practice boxing in my spare time so that I can give back whatever I get in full measure,” said the gutsy promoter sparring with his gloves.
“Despite the Supreme Court coming to your rescue, still the corridor doesn’t seem to get off the ground. What’s your next move?”
“Since Supreme Court is unable to help me, I have now decided to approach the World Court at The Hague, Netherlands, for justice. If I win there, I am told, the UN will give protection to my masons and construction workers by sending their Armed Forces from First World Countries. I will also personally invite Kofi Annanji to do the Bhoomi Pooja.”
That seemed a perfectly normal thing to do when even the hands of the highest court in the land appeared to be tied and sealed with Fevicol.
Next I approached the Official of GOK, who was twiddling his thumbs not sure whether to sit in Vikasa Soudha or Vidhana Soudha. I broke his reverie.
“Sir, I believe, you are handling the ‘BMIC Corridor project’.”
“Tell me, what can I do for you?”
“Even after the Courts have given the project the ‘go ahead’ countless number of times – I forget the last count – still GOK doesn’t give the necessary land for the BMIC project to start work. This is one of the ‘Fast Track’ projects, you are handling, I presume.”
“Indeed. We are still not convinced how much land is required for this project.”
“But GOK itself approved the project in the first place and the Supreme Court has cleared all obstacles for the nth time and wants the corridor work to start in full steam.”
“The Courts underestimate us. We are still not convinced how much land is required. Until that matter is cleared we will do everything to stop the project.”
I had seen officials bending their backs to get companies and investors. Here, it looked the official wanted to chase the promoter away.
“How?” I almost shouted.
“There are ways…. We will impose sanctions against the promoter similar to what U.S did on Iraq. First, we can ask the Builder Association of Karnataka / India not to supply masons, casual labourers. Second, we can make sure see nobody sells cement, sand and construction equipment. Third, we will not allow any lorries to the site; So on and so forth. He just won’t be able to start work!”
There was a note of triumph in his voice.
As I took a last look at the BMIC project, I saw two donkeys at the site.
They were chewing some drawings with the supreme satisfaction, knowing another 50 generations they could do so and multiply there without any worry…