NH 169 Land Losers Association to Approach PD to Provide Fair Compensation for their Land
Mangaluru: The NH 169 Land Losers Association held a meeting to discuss the discrimination in compensation from the National Highway authority at the Sacred Hearts School premises here, on February 7.
Addressing the landowners, Convener of LLA Prakashchandra said, “In the widening of the Mangaluru – Moodbidri – Karkala National Highway 169, more than 250 families will lose their land. Earlier the agricultural land was getting Rs 778 per sq meter, but now it is decreased to Rs 376 per sq meter. For dryland, the compensation was 963 per sq meter, and now it is Rs 474. The competent authority and land acquisition officer told me that he was only empowered to make the award. The DC has written a letter to the Regional officer Suryavanshi to provide fair compensation as the land rate is high in Dakshina Kannada. According to the final award, we will not get much compensation because the regional officer has already taken the decision. All the landowners who are losing their land should present their opinion so that we can take further steps”.
Prakshachandra further said, “The award is final and has been submitted for approval. In this meeting, we have decided to call for a press meet to express the grievances of those losing their land. Already 10 awards have been sent for approval. The Highway Authority had promised us fair compensation, but now they have fooled us. If the land owners give their suggestions, we can think of further action. If injustice has been done to us by the highway authority, we should all share our opinion. We all need to question this compensation.”
One of the land owners from Beluvai said, “Our main concern is that of the compensation for conversion and non-conversion land. The Highway Authority is paying Rs 3 lakh for the converted land, and Rs 30000 for non converted land. There is a lot of difference in compensation. We have submitted a memorandum to the DC, and he has supported us. The National Highway PD is from Bihar, and he is not ready to talk to us because of the language problem. Why is the government not appointing a local person as Project Director? The NH should not consider the land as converted and non-converted land. The NH will encroach 30% converted land and 70% non-converted land. The NH should provide fair compensation to those losing their land.”
Another land owner Ravindran from Addur said, “Fixing the land price is the common problem for all villagers. The second problem is the conversion of the land since there is a lot of land to be converted. The third problem is that the compensation amount for each village is different. These three points are common for all the people losing their land. When the PD is not a competent authority, how can he reduce the compensation amount? Instead of approaching the authorities individually, we can all convince them that the procedure is wrong in fixing the compensation amount. Land owners from all the villages should fight unitedly for justice. We should be compensated as per the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.”
President of the Land Losers Association Mariamma Thomas said, “We have met all the concerned authorities regarding the compensation. The association members have also met the MP and convinced him. During the meeting, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel assured us that fair compensation for the land would be provided and had said that we could carry the money in suitcases. We need to get a fair market price. We have been trying to save our land from 2015, but the National Highway is not listening to anyone. The only option now is to fight for fair compensation.”
At the end of the meeting, the association came to the conclusion that the land owners will hold a press briefing on February 10 and also hold a protest in the coming days.