HYDERABAD: Finding fault with the Andhra Pradesh government’s contention that there is no need to pay compensation for acquiring lands allotted on lease for resettlement of poor families, the High Court has directed it to treat members of the Gopavaram Project Site Co-operative Joint Farming Society of Kadapa district as assignees and pay them compensation as per market value and other benefits under the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 within four months.
The society’s lands were acquired for the Telugu Ganga project. Justice MS Ramachandra Rao has passed this order recently on a petition filed by the society against non-payment of compensation on a par with pattadar owners for acquiring the society’s 44.55 acres at Gopavaram.
In 1972, an extent of 1,231.73 acres at the village was handed over to the society in the name of Badvel Taluq Land Development Society a majority of whose members belong to the Scheduled Castes. The government issued a GO for resettlement of 280 poor families on lease for a period of ninety-nine years free of cost. In 2009, the authorities acquired 44.55 acres of that land for digging Obulam branch canal of the Telugu Ganga project.