CHENNAI: The land acquisition for the third corridor under the phase-II of Chennai Metro Rail suffered a setback after the Madras High Court stayed the move for acquisition of 3,590 square metres of land used as playground by the Good Shepherd Convent in Nungambakkam.
Judge V Bharatidasan passed the interim order on a petition filed by Good Shepherd Convent, which sought to quash the notice, dated June 13, 2018, issued by the Land Acquisition Officer to acquire the land for the purpose of constructing the Sterling Road junction Metro Station.
The court directed the Land Acquisition Officer (LAO) to give a personal hearing to the petitioner on October 1 and asked the petitioner to appear before the LAO on that date and raise his objection with supporting materials, if any.
“The LAO is further directed to consider the objections of the petitioner and thereafter pass appropriate orders on the same before issuing a notification under section 3 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purposes Act. Until such final orders are passed as directed above, the respondents (authorities) are restrained from issuing any notification under section 3 (1) of the Act”, the judge added.
The petitioner submitted that it would be put to an ordeal at the hands of the state authorities, by way of land acquisition proceedings for the purpose of Metro Rail, by which almost three-fourth of the play ground, which was provided by the school not only to comply with the requirements of the educational authorities but also for the betterment of physical and mental health of the students, would be acquired.
“In the event of the playground being acquired, it would be nothing but thwarting the entire system of education adopted by the school to become meaningless, by making the school and its students roam here and there searching for playground,” the petitioner submitted.
Senior counsel Xavier Arulraj submitted that though the Metro Rail for which the acquisition was sought to be made was only for the public purpose, considering the plight of the petitioner on behalf of its students, the authorities can re-consider the issue and seek some alternative site in the opposite direction or can restrict the acquisition to a lesser extent having sufficient space for playground, especially, when the acquisition sought was to locate the railway station.