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De­scribed as a worka­holic, pas­sion­ate, a go-get­ter and an in­cur­able op­ti­mist, Ashok Kheny Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Nandi In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor En­ter­prises (NICE) is the re­cip­i­ent of the US Pres­i­den­tial Award- “Out­stand­ing Busi­ness­man of the Year of a Mi­nor­ity Com­mu­nity” from Ron­ald Rea­gan and the “Fel­low Award” from the World Academy of Pro­duc­tive Sciences, Canada.

Ashok Kheny’s hails from a small vil­lage of Bi­dar Taluk, Kar­nataka. He went to USA for his Mas­ter’s in Man­age­ment Science and En­gi­neer­ing in 1974 and be­came a suc­cess­ful En­tre­pre­neur in USA as he im­ple­mented sev­eral in­fra­struc­ture projects through his com­pany SAB En­gi­neer­ing and Con­struc­tions Inc. and Rail­way Sys­tems De­sign Inc. (RSD).

In­cep­tion of NICE

In 1992, while trav­el­ling from Ben­galuru to Mysore with his mother on the state high­way, Kheny be­came aware of the bad con­di­tion of the road and chalked out an am­bi­tious plan of build­ing an Eco­nomic-her­itage Cor­ri­dor be­tween the Sil­i­con City of Ben­galuru and the His­toric City of Mysore.

In 1995, a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) was signed by the con­sor­tium com­pris­ing Vanasse Han­gen Brustlin Inc., a com­pany reg­is­tered in the states of Mas­sachusetts, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Kalyani group of com­pa­nies and SAB En­gi­neer­ing and Con­struc­tions, for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of Ban­ga­lore Mysore In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor (BMIC) com­pris­ing 111 Kms Ex­press­way and Five Town­ships.

A year later, Kheny in­cor­po­rated Nandi In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor En­ter­prise Ltd., (NICE Ltd) and a frame­work agree­ment was signed with the Gov­ern­ment of Kar­nataka in 1997. This marked the new era in the de­vel­op­ment of BOOT projects in Kar­nataka, with a view to bring­ing in High speed Trans­port cor­ri­dors in­te­grated with self-con­tained town­ships and in­ter­changes for cre­at­ing in­te­grated fa­cil­i­ties for the local pop­u­la­tion.

In the mean­time Kheny suc­cess­fully com­pleted & com­mis­sioned the first BOT Project in the In­dia, viz., Hubli-dhar­wad By­pass Project- A 30.35 KM length road­the first grade sep­a­rated and ac­cess con­trolled, with con­cur­rence from the Min­istry of Sur­face Trans­port which sup­ported the Pri­vate En­tre­pre­neur. As a part of Back­ward in­te­gra­tion for the project, Kheny built a large en­gi­neer­ing de­sign team that fa­cil­i­tated the above in-house projects as well as, hun­dreds of Gov­ern­ment projects in High­way and struc­tural En­gi­neer­ing.

The BMIC De­sign Con­cept

Ban­ga­lore Mysore In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor Project (BMIC) pro­poses to build 111 Kms Ex­press­way be­tween

Ban­ga­lore and Mysore, that would re­duce the travel time to Mysore from the present 4 hours to just 90 min. The en­tire Ban­ga­lore Mysore In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor project now comes un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of a sep­a­rate plan­ning Au­thor­ity, viz., “Ban­ga­lore Mysore In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor Area Plan­ning Au­thor­ity (BMICAPA)”.

• The First Phase: Com­plet­ing 41 Kms of Pe­riph­eral Road of 75 Me­ters width (in con­so­nant with the Ex­ist­ing Mas­ter Plan of Ban­ga­lore) con­nect­ing the Tumkur Road (Near Peenya In­dus­trial Area) (NH 7) to Ho­sur Road (near Elec­tronic City) to NH 4 , 9.1 Kilo­me­ter of Link Road and 12 Kilo­me­ters of Ex­press­way con­nect­ing the first pro­posed town­ship, viz., and build­ing the Cor­po­rate Cen­ter near Bi­dadi.

• The Sec­ond Phase: Com­plet­ing fur­ther 13 Kms of Ex­press­way along with the con­struc­tion of the Com­mer­cial Cen­ter and the In­dus­trial Cen­tre.

• The Third Phase: Com­plet­ing the re­main­ing por­tion of the Ex­press­way till Mysore, along with the con­struc­tion of Her­itage Cen­ter and the Eco-tourism Cen­tre.

• The Fi­nal Phase: Com­plet­ing the 3 Kilo­me­ter of el­e­vated Link road Ban­ga­lore’s Con­nect­ing City Cen­ter to the Link Road

The cur­rent sta­tus of the project

First Phase of the project (41 Kms of Pe­riph­eral Road and 9 Kms of Link Road) is sub­stan­tially com­pleted and open for the traf­fic. As part of the BMIC project, one vil­lage in Som­pura was also re­ha­bil­i­tated on the ba­sis of a self-sus­tained model, with all the ameni­ties in place, with con­crete roof houses, stand­ing as a sym­bol

NICE ltd. is con­test­ing al­most 550 law­suits re­lated to the project at var­i­ous lev­els of the ju­di­ciary with at least six in the Supreme Court. But Kheny re­fuses to give up on the project and in­sists with an in­con­gru­ous bullish­ness that it will yet be a great suc­cess, ben­e­fit­ting the State in its over­all de­vel­op­ment.

of in­clu­sive de­vel­op­ment. A to­tal of 149 vil­lages along the Pe­riph­eral Ring Road are to be re­ha­bil­i­tated along the same self-sus­tained lines. How­ever, due to po­lit­i­cal road­blocks, the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gram con­tin­ues to be on the draw­ing board stage. The time­line of the BMIC project is ex­pected to take 10 years to com­plete upon all the clear­ances.

How will BMIC add to the state’s eco­nomic & so­cial well-be­ing?

The project will gen­er­ate more than 1,000 Jobs di­rectly and 1 Lakh Jobs in­di­rectly due to the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion, while gen­er­at­ing more than Rs 300 Crores to Rs. 3000 Crores in rev­enue for the State Gov­ern­ment due to this project.

The BMIC con­nect­ing nearly three-fourth of Kar­nataka will of­fer ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the ed­u­ca­tional, hous­ing and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties for the ru­ral pop­u­la­tion, bridge the ur­ban and ru­ral di­vide with new em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties thereby ar­rest­ing the ru­ral to ur­ban mi­gra­tion and the farm­ers too will gain as there will be newer mar­kets for their pro­duce. The other main com­po­nent of the Project is five self-sus­tain­ing town­ships along the ex­press­way and a 400 MW Power Plant, 2 TMC Wa­ter Sup­ply pipe­line and Sew­er­age Treat­ment plant.

Be­sides help­ing achieve the eco­nomic growth of the re­gion, the project will also help to al­le­vi­ate the prob­lem of the com­mer­cial traf­fic trav­el­ing on the busy NH 4 and NH 7 (link­ing Chen­nai in the south to Mum­bai in the west) with­out cross­ing cen­tral Ban­ga­lore by a fast, grade­sep­a­rated pe­riph­eral road.

NICE ltd. is con­test­ing al­most 550 law­suits re­lated to the project at var­i­ous lev­els of the ju­di­ciary with at least six in the Supreme Court. But Kheny re­fuses to give up on the project and in­sists with an in­con­gru­ous bullish­ness that it will yet be a great suc­cess, ben­e­fit­ting the State in its over­all de­vel­op­ment.

The chal­lenges in com­plet­ing the am­bi­tious project

Ac­cord­ing to Kheny, land ac­qui­si­tion is the ma­jor chal­lenge. NICE Ltd., un­leashed the project with a Win-win sce­nario be­tween the land hold­ers and the Project Com­pany, with a good pack­age of Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Re­set­tle­ment pol­icy. The com­pany planned a wellser­viced and planned Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion lay­outs at Som­pura, Vara­hasan­dra and Mad­havara, for the land losers of the land that has been al­ready been ac­quired for the Com­ple­tion of 41 Kms of Pe­riph­eral Road and 9 km of Link road.

How­ever, the de­lay in im­ple­men­ta­tion of the BMIC Project has led to hi­jack­ing of the vi­sion of the project by the land own­ers / spec­u­la­tors and real es­tate bro­kers re­sult­ing in wind­fall of prof­its to them due to rise in mar­ket value, but the pro­mot­ers are bear­ing the de­lay in project im­ple­men­ta­tion and fight­ing the court cases ini­ti­ated by vested in­ter­ests and politi­cians.

Ban­ga­lore-mysore In­fra­struc­ture Cor­ri­dor Project

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