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Wednesday, Sep 04, 2002

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Bangalore-Mysore project awaits some approvals — Promoters told to expedite Phase I

Madhumathi D.S.


THE Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) is awaiting "some final approvals" before work on the first phase of the 111-km tolled expressway-cum-township project could begin.

With the financial closure of the Rs 2,000-crore project around the corner, the Kalyani group-owned promoter, Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE), has been now asked to complete the first phase or the two-lane peripheral and link road in two years. This will accelerate Section A — the first of the three-phase project — which includes the 64-km semi-circular peripheral road and access to the new Mysore expressway, according to Mr Ashok Kheny, Managing Director, NICE.

He said Section A up to the Bidadi township was estimated at Rs 1,000 crore.

The project will be taken up at both the ends of the corridor, up to Bidadi on the Bangalore side and some 6.5 km from Mysore up to Srirangapatna.

The originally proposed four-lane way will be completed in six instead of eight years to meet a Government directive to ensure speedy connectivity as well as due to improved technology and machinery. "We will still meet all the deadlines," he said. The two-lane way will come up first "to enable the earth to settle down before the concrete is laid on. The road is meant to have a life of 60 years," he said.

The company has meanwhile floated the special purpose vehicle proposed for Section A — Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises (NECE). This has been facilitated through a tripartite agreement between the Karnataka Government, NICE and NECE.

NECE would now benefit from the Rs 58-crore stamp duty exemption offered for the project as per the Infrastructure Policy guidelines. According to officials, this and the taking up of the two-lane way await Cabinet approval and a combined comfort letter is likely to be issued to enable financial closure. They said adequate safeguards had been built in by inserting a penalty clause too.

It may take a couple of months to clear all this before the company could begin work, they said.

Over 20,000 acres of land will be involved in the project, of which the Government component is around 7,000 acres. Falling in the category of a mega infrastructure project of the State, BMICP stands to benefit from stamp duty exemption of up to Rs 58 crore for the private land acquisition of some 14,000 acres of land falling in the four districts of Bangalore Urban and Rural, Mandya and Mysore.

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