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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Krishna, Gowda, Yeddyurappa face probe in expressway scam

Bangalore: The Karnataka Lokayukta Thursday ordered a probe into the role of three former chief ministers H.D. Deve Gowda, S.M. Krishna, B.S. Yeddyurappa and over 25 others for alleged lapses in land allotment for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor. Acting on Bangalore-based social activist T.J. Abraham's complaint, Lokayukta court Judge N.K. Sudhindra Rao directed police attached to his mbudsman's office to probe the role of 30 of the 105 people named in the complaint. Others to be probed include present Public Works Department Minister C.M. Udasi, managing director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ashok Kheny, former Congress minister R.V. Deshpande, Congress legislator D.K. Shivakumar, Bharat Forge chief Baba Kalyani and former Massachusetts, US, governor William Weld. Weld has been named in the complaint as he had in 1995 signed the memorandum of understanding with then Karnataka chief minister Deve Gowda for execution of the project by a consortium of Indian and US companies. The Rs.4,000 crore project consisting of 111-km expressway and some 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's requirement. 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 it. Besides modern expressway between Bangalore and Mysore, the infrastructure corridor envisages five self-sustainable townships, each with a capacity to house a population of 100,000, and several commercial buildings. Krishna, of Congress, is now the union external affairs minister while Gowda, Janata Dal-Secular leader and Lok Sabha member, was prime minister in 1996-97. Yeddyurappa, the first Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister in Karnataka, was forced out of office in July last year over mining bribery charges.

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