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BLOG - ER Ramachandran

Monday, November 06, 2006

A NICE Goodbye!

The Bangalore –Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) Project of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises ( NICE) is turning out to be a one-way street for fights, affidavits and counter affidavits. 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 is 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 U.S. whose love for his 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.

‘ 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 U.N. will give protection to my masons and construction workers by sending their Armed Forces from First World Countries. I will also personally appeal to Kofi Annanji to help out’.

That seemed a perfectly normal thing to do when even the hands of the highest court in the land is tied and glued with fevicol.

Next I approached the Official of GOK, who was twiddling his thumb not sure whether to sit in Vikasa Soudha or Vidhana Soudha. I broke his reverie.

‘ Sir, I believe, you are handling the ‘Bang-Miss’ Corridor project’.

I was told that is how the officials call the project. He was surprised how I had used their secret code, but didn’t show it.

‘ Tell me, what can I do’.

‘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 damn ‘Bang-Miss’ er- the BMIC project’.

‘ But GOK itself approved the project in the first place and the Supreme Court has cleared all obstacles for the project 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’s a case when the Govt. was hell bent on driving the promoter away.

‘ How will you stop the project?’ I almost shouted.

‘ There are many ways. We will impose sanctions against the promoter similar to what U.S did on Iraq. We will ask the Builder Association of Karnataka / India not to supply masons, casual labourers. We will see that nobody sells cement, sand and construction equipment. We will not allow any lorries to the site. He 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, that another 50 generations they could do so and multiply there without any worry…


E.R. Ramachandran 4, November, 2006