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Expressway between Bangalore-Mysore

With the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest giving its clearance for the Rs. 2,000 crore Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project, the last hurdle in executing the project has been overcome.

With the go-ahead by the Government of India on August 8,2001, the process for land acquisition for the ambitious project will hasten now. The Karnataka Industrial Area Development Corporation, which is entrusted with the task, has already issued the preliminary notification for acquiring lands for the 111 km expressway, 41 km peripheral roads, 9 km link roads and the five townships -all proposed in the project. The Corporation has already issued notices to 6,970 land owners who will lose their lands.

The implementation of the project has been entrusted to the Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE). NICE has to deposit Rs.100 crore now for awarding compensation for the land-losers. It has to also submit technical details of the road to the Public Works Department of the State Government for approval.

Besides the four-lane expressway, the project also envisages five townships along the 111-km route. They are: Corporate Centre, Commercial Centre, Industrial Centre, Heritage Centre and Eco-tourism Centre. These five modern townships will have schools, hospitals, parks and recreation facilities, water and power supplies, telecommunication links and sewage treatment plants. The Corporate Centre will be the corporate headquarters and will have facilities for research and development. Retail light industry will find place in the second centre - Commercial Centre. Industry, industrial research and development will be centered in the Industrial Centre. Heritage Centre with a lake will house arts, craft, traditional treatment and healing centres. Eco Tourism will have attractions like theme parks, cultural art centres and environmental attractions.

The much-delayed project requiring vast tracts of lands between Mysore and Bangalore is not without opposition from environmentalists. Forest and agricultural land, belonging to both farmers and the State Government, will be required along the route for the project. Concerned about these and the probable adverse impact the project will have on the social and economic aspects on the people in the area, environmentalists and their organizations are strongly opposing the project. The effort of NICE to convince them on the need for the superway for faster traffic movement between the State's metropolitan city and the vastly expanding city of Mysore has not brought about the desired objective. Meetings held in Mysore and Mandya cities have turned futile, with vehement opposition. These people, including farmer bodies, may now resort to legal and civil action against the environmental clearance.

The expressway link between Mysore and Bangalore is not a new proposition. Mr. D. Devaraj Urs when he was Chief Minister had announced that an expressway would be built between the two cities like the superways or 'autobahns' in Germany. The clearance by the Environmental Ministry itself has come after about five years.

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