CHENNAI: Clearing the deck for the long-pending expansion of the Coimbatore airport, the first bench of the Madras HC on Wednesday directed the State and Central governments to go ahead with the programme, after paying the due compensation, with an interest component, to farmers whose lands were acquired.
The direction was given while a batch of write petitions were being disposed, filed by 13 land owners. The petitions were about the payment of lease rent on the land claimed by the Department of Civil Aviation. The petitions also challenged the land acquisition.
The ancestors of the present land owners/petitioners had leased out the land to the Department of Defence, under a lease agreement dated August 8, 1942 during the Second World War. The lands were situated in Singanallur and Kalapatti villages.
They were utilised as an aerodrome and transferred to the Department of Civil Aviation, in 1947. Among other things, the petitioners contended that there was a big default in payment of lease rent and even subsequent transfer of the said land to the Airport Authority of India.
After working out the quantum of interest and its applicability and method of payment, the bench disposed of the petitions with a direction to the petitioners to surrender their title deeds and documents pertaining before the Collector for receiving compensation at rates agreed earlier, if they are so agreeable to its suggestion. Then the Collector shall get their agreements executed without any further delay and disburse the entire amount receivable by the petitioners within a month, the bench added.