Saturday, November 15, 2008

Things fishy at Nandagudi SEZ-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of Ind

Things fishy at Nandagudi SEZ-Bangalore-Cities-The Times of India
: After targeting former PWD minister H D Revanna, the BJP government has now trained guns on his brother and former CM H D

The government on Thursday ordered a Lok Ayukta probe into the mode of approval given to Mumbai-based SKIL Infrastructure Ltd to develop a multi-product SEZ at Nandagudi.

The State High Level Clearance Committee (SHLCC) in April 2007 and the cabinet in June 2007, both headed by Kumaraswamy, cleared the Rs 15,000-crore proposal to come up on 12,350 acres spread over 36 villages at Nandagudi in Hoskote taluk.

Terming the decisions of Kumaraswamy undesirable and non-transparent, the government has asked the Lok Ayukta to probe matters pertaining to whether SEZ norms prescribed by the Centre have been followed, whether facilities extended to SKIL are extended to other SEZs in the state and whether any maltransactions took place during approval of this SEZ. The proposed SEZ is located 30 km from BIA and 55 km from the city centre. Documents suggest that every government department had expressed its opposition for the project.

The government-owned BMRDA, which is planning to build a township in Nandagudi to decongest Bangalore, had censured the proposal by stating: “We have invited open global tendering process for taking up integrated township in Nandagudi. Allowing SKIL to set up SEZ in Nandagudi is not advisable at this stage."

The proposed SEZ will take up 12,350 acres of the around 18,000 acres that is earmarked for the township by the government. And what remains with the government in Nandagudi will be a mere 5,650 acres.

While revenue department had voiced that such “prime land" around Bangalore should not be given to a private developer, urban development had pointed out that the BMRDA was already planning a township and it was not advisable for a separate SEZ there. BWSSB, on its part, said no water supply be given to this SEZ. Even the KIADB, which acquires land for mega projects, had stated that the board so far has not acquired land for SEZ involving 36 villages in Hoskote taluk. The company claims to have various target industries like agro and food processing industries, IT/ITES, automobiles, micro-electronics and diamond processing.

Currently, this proposal is before the Union government's Board of Approval (BoA) for clearance. The government has also ordered a Lok Ayukta probe into the allegations surrounding construction of Garuda Mall on Magrath road.

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