The BMIC (Bangalore-Mysore Infrastucture corridor) project is cursed, as cursed as all the other vital infrastructure projects in our country. It is cursed by nothing but our political class which does not allow any project big, medium, small or micro to move smoothly till its Ego is massaged and its greed for Money and Votes is satiated.
The BMIC project was taken up by a consortium called the NICE ( Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises). The plan was to build a modern highway connecting Bangalore and Mysore as the existing highway is woefully inadequate since it passes thru the middle of many large and small towns like Mandya, Ramanagara, channapatna etc… leading to lot of traffic jams throughout the entire length of the Highway and inspite of the recent upgrades to the existing highway it still takes nearly 4 hours to travel the distance of 140 kms between Mysore and Bangalore.
The BMIC project was launched in February 1995 when a MoU was signed between the visiting business delegation led by the Governor of Massachusetts, the Honorable William F. Weld and the then Karnataka Chief Minister, H.D.Deve Gowda who went on to become the Prime Minister a year later and is also the father of the present CM of Karnataka, Mr H.D. Kumaraswamy.
So what happened between then and now? Why are HDD and his son HDK so very opposed to the project that HDD himself helped launch? that’s a tale in itself.
After his unceremonious ouster as Prime Minister of India in 1997 Mr HDD had become very much sidelined in both national(he never was a player there) and Karnataka state politics. He was in the wilderness till 2004 and during that time most people had written him off and ignored him. He has since carried a chip on his shoulder and does not miss a opportunity to lash out against anyone who he thinks have grown too big for their boots. His hitlist till now also includes Bangalore Metro, Bangalore International Airport, Infosys etc… He has become a big impediment in the road to development of Karnataka. If anything is good for Karnataka it is somehow not good for him.
Now his son the present CM Mr HD Kumaraswamy seems to be going down the same path as his “illustrious” father. Infact it is widely believed that they are acting in cohort. HDK is the type of son who does not take even one step without his father’s nod. The present controversy involves allegations that NICE has ‘taken over’ excess land. It involves 2,451 acres of land around the peripheral road(Hosur road to Tumkur road). This land was acquired from the farmers back in the 1990s. Now with the BMIC road coming up the land prices have sky rocketted and the HDD establishment wants its cut. There are also allegations that HDK and family own nearly 46 acres of land in BMIC area.
The HDK Government now plans to pass a bill in the Legislature to takeover the entire BMIC project and then sell the “excess land” allotted for the project at market rates and fill their own personal coffers or in the least scuttle the project to satisfy their own ego and feel important.
In the meanwhile NICE has gone ahead with the inauguration of the first phase of the project. That’s a very NICE way to go.
More news on this lilting drama :).