BR Shetty to invest Rs 450 Cr in Jog Falls Improvement
Business Tycoon BR Shetty owning mega companies in UAE has come forward to invest Rs 450 Crore in turning the famous Jog Falls into an all season spectacle.
Mangaluru: A proposal for retaining the Jog Falls in Sagar taluk in Shivamogga district in its full glory throughout the year, including the dry months, has been on the cards for nine years now. Briefing reporters after the meeting, Law Minister T B Jayachandra said that recently BRS Ventures of the New Medical Centre (NMC) Group owned by BR Shetty had submitted its bid expressing interest in executing the project. The state-run National Buildings Construction Corporation Ltd also participated in the bid but later withdrew.
BRS Ventures has proposed to invest Rs 450 crore in the project. The company will have to get clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forests and other agencies concerned before executing the project. The entire project will be monitored by the Jog Management Authority (JMA), a government body. The investor can collect fees from tourists and visitors only after the rates are ratified by the JMA, he said. The minister said the number of visitors to the Jog Falls is at its peak during July-October (around eight lakh) after which the footfall declines as the falls dry up. Most of the hotels and government guest houses remain unoccupied during the off-season, he said.
Jayachandra said the Cabinet discussed at length the pros and cons of giving approval for the project. The meeting decided that the approval should be given on the condition that the final project report should be strictly adhered to after clearances from various agencies.
According to sources, a section of ministers expressed apprehension that the project, if not monitored properly, could take the direction of Bengaluru-Mysuru Infrastructure Corridor project (executed by Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises), which has been riddled with controversy since its inception. Jayachandra said Shetty, who hails from Udupi and went on to build a business empire in the Gulf, had stated in the recent edition of Invest Karnataka summit that he was executing the project without any commercial interest in mind. Shetty stated that he wanted to give back something to the state, the minister added.