• NICE gets stay on govt notice over toll collection

    The Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE) has been successful in getting a stay from a court on the notice served by the state government on it, seeking why toll collection on the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor should not be stopped.

    According to official sources, the government had served a notice to NICE, after the Legislature committee report on the reported violation of the framework agreement by the company, was tabled in the Assembly during the recently concluded winter session of the legislature in Belagavi.

    However, NICE has been quick to outsmart the government, the sources added. The government is now working towards getting the stay vacated. The committee had noted that NICE had violated the framework agreement between itself and the Public Works Department (PWD) by collecting toll, without even providing cemented roads or facilities such as drinking water and toilets for road users. Despite this, NICE has been collecting higher toll than its competitors, the report added.

    The report said that NICE has collected Rs 1,375 crore through toll, from 2008 onwards. The committee had recommended that the amount collected should be recovered by the government, and that toll collection stopped immediately.

    The committee has also recommended the government to order a CBI probe into the matter. The report is now before the high power committee headed by the chief secretary, which is required to recommend action to be initiated by the state Cabinet. The chief secretary has sougth opinion from the PWD.

    The sources, however, said that the committee report might not see light of the day, owing to the pressure from an influential minister in the Siddaramaiah Cabinet. Leon Hall Authentic Jersey

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