BJP, JDS decide to jointly fight against NICE ‘irregularities’

Kumaraswamy said that both the TB Jayachandra committee and a cabinet sub-committee, headed by JC Madhu Swamy, had pointed out irregularities in the project.
NICE road project
NICE road project

BENGALURU:  As the legislature session ended on Friday, Opposition parties — BJP and JDS — decided to fight against alleged irregularities in the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) road project.
At a joint press conference, former CMs HD Kumaraswamy from JDS and Basavaraj Bommai from BJP said they will fight together.

They demanded that the State Government announce a judicial inquiry into the project and take back 13,000 acres of additional land acquired by NICE. The government should also seize Rs 1,325 crore NICE collected as toll till now.

Kumaraswamy said that if the project is scrapped, the government can get at least Rs 30,000 crore in revenue that can be used to fund the guarantees. “The government has all the powers to withdraw the NICE project. But it should make its stand clear,” the duo demanded.

Targeting DyCM DK Shivakumar, Kumaraswamy alleged that the one who is talking about ‘Brand Bengaluru’ is hand in glove with NICE. He said as per a clause in the agreement with NICE, the infrastructure company was not allowed to collect the toll without building a concrete road before 2012. But so far, the company has collected Rs 1,325 crore, which the government has to seize.

Kumaraswamy said that both the TB Jayachandra committee and a cabinet sub-committee, headed by JC Madhu Swamy, had pointed out irregularities in the project. Even the Supreme Court order said the government has the power to initiate action against NICE. But nothing has been done, and the government should take action, he added. “We wanted to raise the issue in the Assembly, but we could not as JDS boycotted the session after the Speaker suspended 10 BJP MLAs,” he said.

Bommai said the collaboration between the two parties will not end here and it will be taken further. “The cabinet subcommittee during our government had recommended that the additional land with NICE should be taken back. Now that the Congress government is in power, it should do it. NICE is using the additional land for real estate.”

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