CHENNAI: The move to complete the two-decade-old outer ring road project suffered a blow after St Michael’s Polytechnic College, whose parcel of land is being acquired for the project, has moved a contempt petition against the State government for failing to pay compensation while taking possession of the building.
The Madras High Court, in its earlier order passed on March 16, 2018, said, “The entire award enquiry shall be completed and payment shall be made within a period of four months from March 16, 2018. It is clarified that payment of compensation is not linked to taking possession of the extent of 50 metres corridor but taking possession alone is linked to compensation.”
However, the state has allegedly failed to hear St Michael’s Polytechnic College on quantifying the compensation as directed by Madras High Court within the time-frame suggested by the court and acquired the land.
The district revenue officer, who is in charge of land acquisition, did not conduct the enquiry ordered by the court to quantify the compensation within the time-limit prescribed by the court. Official sources said that the delay in hearing the college authorities in quantifying the compensation within the time-limit of two weeks was due to delay in gathering the sales statistics and lack of staff.
The college has alleged that without paying single paise as compensation, the land acquisition authority took possession of lands measuring 17,750 square metres and bulldozed 599 trees and structures in 72 metres width. Officials maintain that the landowner is entitled to 9 per cent interest from March 18 to September for the advanced possession of lands measuring 17,750 sq m and trees bulldozed under the new Land Acquisition Act.
The first phase of 29.2-km project from Vandalur to Nemilichery has been completed and opened for traffic. The second phase of 33.10 km from Nemilichery to Minjur is facing hurdles in the final stages.
It is learnt that 99 per cent of the project has been completed and officials are trying to wind up the project by December. “There is a stay on taking over a small piece of land from land owner. Rest all is completed,” said a CMDA official. Officials said the compensation issue would be tackled legally and the project completed soon.