BENGALURU: The land acquisition process by the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) for its RV Road-Bommasandra Line (Reach-5) has hit a legal hurdle.
The Karnataka High Court has restrained them from going ahead with the acquisition of nearly 2.5 acres of land of the Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprises (NICE).
The court order on June 11 has called for status quo to be maintained while acquiring land covering four survey numbers in Beratena Agrahara village and eight survey numbers in Doddathoguru village of Begur hobli.
The hearing was held in connection with a writ petition filed by NICE against the acquisition of its properties.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, a senior BMRCL said, “We have begun the acquisition process for nearly 50 acres of land on the Reach-5 line. This is a setback for us as we will not be able to carry out any work there until we get legal clearance.” The land was required to construct a viaduct as well as a portion of the Electronic City (I) Metro station.
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB), which gives compensation for properties acquired by the BMRCL, had already deposited the compensation for NICE, the official said.
Asked about the reasons behind refusing to part with its land, NICE Managing Director Ashok Kheny told The New Indian Express that the compensation offered was only 5 per cent of the amount being offered to neighbouring landowners. “This is discrimination against us. They are violating laws pertaining to compensation. Hence, we decided to go to court,” Kheny said.
A spokesperson for NICE slightly differed and said they were being paid 10 per cent of what was being paid to others. “We feel we have been discriminated against. We need to be paid the same amount paid to others in the area,” he said.
BMRCL stresses that the compensation amount for NICE was fixed only after they had consulted the State Advocate General.
Ruling out the possibility of giving it compensation on par with the others, another BMRCL official said, “NICE only has a conditional sale deed on hand. They had been given government land on lease for constructing the road and it has to be returned free of cost to the state government after a lapse of 30 years. They are not the actual owners of the land. The government owns the property.” The next hearing is slated for July 15.