Bangalore, Oct 25 (IANS) A court here Thursday ordered a probe into the role of former Karnataka chief ministers S.M. Krishna, H.D. Deve Gowda, B.S. Yeddyurappa and 99 others in alleged lapses in land allotment for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor.
Krishna is now the union external affairs minister.
The Rs.4,000-crore project consisting of 111-km expressway and several townships has been mired in controversy over allegations that the builder Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Limited (NICE) has been allotted land far in excess of the project requirement.
Acting on a private complaint by T.J. Abraham, a Bangalore-based social activist, ombudsman N.K. Sudhindra Rao directed police attached to Lokayukta to probe the role of all those named in the complaint.
The complaint, filed Aug 27, alleged irregularities in the acquisition of farmers' lands for the project and wanted the court to attach the 6,999 acres allotted for the project.
Besides Krishna, Gowda, Yeddyurappa, others named in the complaint include former chief minister N. Dharam Singh, NICE managing director Ashok Kheny, his relative and Bharat Forge chairman and managing director Baba Kalyani, former ICICI chairman Narayan Vaghul, 57 Indian Administrative Service officers, and former advocate general Ashok Haranahally.
The complaint also named William Weld, who was the governor of Massachusetts state, US, in 1995 when a consortium of Indian and American firms was formed to execute the project.
The memorandum of understanding for the project was signed by Weld, then Karnataka chief minister Deve Gowda and consortium members in Bangalore in 1995.
Besides modern expressway between Bangalore and Mysore, the infrastructure corridor envisages five self-sustainable townships each with a population of 100,000 and several commercial buildings.