The Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor

Background

The Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) consists of the construction of a 4-lane (convertible to 6) toll, walled expressway, 5 townships and associated link roads, power plant and supporting infrastructure. The project is slated to cost upwards of Rs. 2000 crore (US$400,000,000). The townships are planned to act as population counter-magnets to Bangalore, thus helping to decongest this burgeoning city. According to project documents1, the project will not be financially viable without the townships as they will provide a captive source of expressway tolls, being accessible mainly via the expressway. There are 2 other existing roads between Bangalore and Mysore: State Highway 17 (SH-17 or Bangalore Mysore Road), and State Highway 86 (SH-86 or Kanakpura Road) and also a railway line with several trains running daily. Furthermore there are several existing towns between these 2 cities, situated along the railway line: Ramnagaram, Chanpatna, Mandya, Maddur, Srirangpatna to name a few.

The origins of this project can be traced back to the 1980s when the government of Karnataka was interested in expanding the existing SH-17 from a 2-lane road into an expressway. They approached the Asian Development Bank, which upon commissioning a study found that SH-17 was not a candidate for conversion into an expressway due to developments along the roadside.2

Based on a suggestion by the Karnataka Public Works Department that a road be built parallel to SH-17, tenders were called for and Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE) Ltd. were the only bidders. NICE Ltd. is a consortium consisting of Kalyani Group (Pune), SAB Engineering (Pennsylvania, USA) and Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) (Boston, USA). NICE conducted its own feasibility study, which included the construction of several townships (initially 7) and an expressway (initially 6-lanes). This study was accepted by the government of Karnataka (GoK) and in 1995, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the GoK headed by then Chief Minister, Sri. H.D. Devegowda and NICE for the construction of this infrastructure corridor.

A short note on the BMICP and, other project and campaign documents provide further information.


1. “Proceedings of the Government of Karnataka, Sub: Implementation of the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor project under BOOT concept”, Clause 5.0 and 8.0, Annex 2 to the Executive Summary of the Environmental Impact and Socio-economic Assessment Report for Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor, by MECON Ltd., October 1999

2. “Roadblocks to an expressway”, Ravi Sharma, Frontline Volume 19 – Issue 02, Jan. 19 – Feb. 01, 2002

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