‘Pay Us the Fair Compensation for Our Land’ -Demand Land Losers to NH 4-Lane Project
Mangaluru: Following the NH 169 Land Losers Association meeting held to discuss the discrimination in compensation from the National Highway authority at the Sacred Hearts School premises, Mangaluru on 7 February 2021, the committe once gain held a press meet at Mangaluru Press Club, where the committee representing the residents’ who are losing their land for widening of NH-169 and have decided not to give up their lands for their project unless a fair compensation was awarded to them as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013, addressed the media persons with their grievances. The residents of 17 villages in Mangaluru and Moodbidri taluks have formed Rashtriya Heddari 169 (13) Mangaluru-Moodbidri Rasthe Agalikarana Bhoomalakara Horata Samiti to fight against the alleged high handedness of NH. Briefing the media persons, Samiti president and former Councillor Mrs Mariamma Thomas said, “Though the Special Land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) had fixed very fair land price based on guidance value, the NHAI Project Director had allegedly bulldozed the proposal, by which we are losing 40% to 60% of the value earlier fixed by the competent authority. We want compensation as per the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013”.
She further said, “We cannot accept any other form of calculation. We are not willing to give our precious land at throwaway prices as it was concerning our livelihood. We may even approach the High Court in case the issue is not resolved amicably. The Special Land Acquisition Officer (SLAO) is the competent authority and has to pass compensation awards as per the RFCTLARR Act. When the RFCTLARR Act was in force there was no question of fixing compensation as per Central Valuation Committee (CVC) guidelines that do not take market value of properties into consideration”.
Also speaking during the press meet, Prakash Chandra, the Samithi convener said, “NHAI had ignored residents’ suggestions regarding widening the road in the existing alignment, which would have ensured acquisition of only government lands. Now that the NHAI has changed alignment, most of the land is in private hands. The acquisition without proper compensation will rob the farmers of their livelihood”.
It is learnt that the NHAI has already final notification for 137.6641 hectares of land in Addoor, Bagadulipadi, Badagayedapadv, Kandavara, Muluru, Padavu, Thenkulipadi, Thenkayadapadvu, Thiruvail in Mangaluru Taluk and Badagamijar, Beluvai, Marpady, Padumarnadu, Puthige, Thenkamijar and Thodar in Moodbidri taluk. In the meantime, Shishu Mohan, PD, NHAI speaking to media has said that there are certain rules in NH Act 1956 and the SLAO will follow those rules and compensation is being made out according to RFCTLARR Act, 2013, along with Central Valuation Committee (CVC) guidelines. If they (land losers) have any issue, they can file their petition with the arbitrator and the arbitrator has the power to accord the approval for an enhanced compensation amount, he added.