Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) is finally making some headway with the construction of Metro projects on properties that are in custody of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise Ltd (NICE).
Officials, however, will start making payments for the ‘litigated land’ only after getting a nod from the High Court. Civil work has commenced on three stretches of a 72-km Phase II project such as Tumakuru Road, Mysuru Road and on Kanakapura Road, where no work took place for about three years, since the land belonged to NICE.
Currently, piling work is underway on Tumakuru Road for building pillars and at a station near the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). Similarly, work has also commenced on Mysuru Road. The BMRCL has also taken custody of the land on Kanakapura Road where a Metro line is proposed to connect the depot.
The BMRCL, however, is still struggling to acquire land for the construction of Metro station in Electronic City. The property belongs to NICE but officials had to re-work on the acquisition process. This is because the promoters of NICE had challenged the land acquisition process in the Court and now, officials hope to acquire the land in about 15 days.
In all, the BMRCL needed a total of 4 acres of NICE land for Phase II Metro project. The extent of land for the acquisition was brought down from nine acres as NICE promoters were not willing to part with the land for compensation, which is not at par with the market prices. As the tussle between the BMRCL and NICE promoters went on for nearly three years but hit a dead-end, the state government had to intervene to solve the issue.
In December last year, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa directed the BMRCL authorities to go ahead with the work by depositing money in the Court. Soon after, the Metro project saw some progress. Meanwhile, the NICE promoters blamed Metro authorities for not following due process. “The BMRCL could have gone ahead with its acquisition process instead of taking shortcuts to acquire NICE land. We do not have a problem if the construction work is being undertaken. Let the Court determine whether BMRCL should pay us or not,” a functionary in NICE said.
So far, the BMRCL has already acquired about 99 per cent of the land required for the six stretches of Phase II. The project is under different stages of implementation with two stretches — Mysuru Road and Kanakapura Road — expected to be ready in a year’s time.