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Thursday, Jun 13, 2002

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Work on Bangalore-Mysore corridor to start soon -- LIC to invest Rs 100 cr as debt in project

Abhrajit Gangopadhyay
D.S. Madhumati


LIC will invest Rs 100-150 crore as debt in the proposed Rs 2,000-crore Bangalore-Mysore Corridor Project (BMCP), its acting Chairman, Mr A. Ramamurthy, said. "We will not pick up any equity,'' he added.

HUDCO and PNB are also among the lenders who have chipped in with funds. ICICI is the lead arranger for the project.

The project, which is expecting financial closure soon, awaits a "comforting'' clarification from the State Government for its 10-odd financial institutional lenders, the Chairman, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), Mr Ashok Kheny, told Business Line. The work for the first phase would begin this month-end, Mr Kheny added.

NICE plans to complete this Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) project in five years. It will own and operate the project for 30 years subject to further extension. Phase I is estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore and involve a construction time of about 30 months.

The project, which recently received the environmental clearance from the Centre, was formalised with the State Government as early as February 1995.

The Rs 2,000-crore BMICP comprises a 111-km six-lane tolled expressway, a 41-km tolled outer peripheral road linking NH 4 and 7 and five self-sustaining townships between the two cities.

The project is being developed by the consortium formed by the Kalyani group, VHB International and the US-based SAB International. About 20,193 acres of identified land in Bangalore, Mandya and Mysore are being acquired for the company by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board. Of this, 4,000 acre is for the expressway.

A commercial centre at Bidadi, heritage centre at Ramanagaram, industrial centre at Channapatna and eco-tourism township at Srirangapatna near Mysore are also planned.

According to Mr Kheny, work on Phase I will start simultaneously from both Bangalore and Mysore and include the Bangalore-Bidadi and Mysore-Cauvery highway sectors, the link road and the outer peripheral road at Bangalore. The second and third phases will cost Rs 500 crore each.

The Centre's eco clearance came within a year after the State Pollution Control Board gave its `no objection'.

A 400-MW power plant, which is part of the project, would also need a specific eco-clearance, he said.

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