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KSPCB order cancelling consent for NICE set aside

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) won a crucial battle over the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) when the State Appellate Authority (for Water and Air Pollution Prevention Acts) overturned the board order withdrawing consent for the contentious Bangalore-Mysore Expressway Project.

A Division Bench of the authority comprising its Chairman A.M. Farooq and members B.N. Thyagaraja and Lawrence Surendra passed the orders on appeals by NICE and Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprise (NECE).

Both NICE and NECE had questioned the July 27, 2009 order of the then Chairman of the KSPCB withdrawing consent to the BMIC project. The project envisages construction of an elevated expressway from Bangalore to Mysore along with several link roads and a peripheral road.

The project has run into controversies after landowners alleged that excess lands had been acquired at a pittance for the project. They claimed that NICE was now seeking land at a premium. NICE, on its part, has denied all allegations and said the project had been cleared by the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court.

NICE said it had contested the board chairman's decision of September 20, 2006 to withdraw consent to the project. The authority allowed its appeals saying that the order could not be sustained and was therefore liable to be set aside. The authority rejected all impleading applications by landowners in the petitions that had come up for hearing before it.

NICE has welcomed the order saying that it paves the way for implementation of the project.

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