The Hindu, 25 Dec 2014, Bengaluru: The owners of thousands of acres of lands notified for the controversial Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP) have a reason to cheer.
Now they can hope for at least “realistic” compensation for their lands instead of the meagre amount being offered to them.
The Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) has recently taken a decision that the land owners are entitled to “fair compensation” based on the new law — Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. Last week, the KIADB informed the Karnataka High Court about this decision in the context of a litigation related to passing of awards for some parcels of lands already acquired for the project.
This means, the land owners would be legally entitled to a multi-fold increase in compensation. The compensation would be the existing market price of the lands (to be determined based on rates of land transactions registered in the sub-registrar’s office) in the surrounding areas plus compensation for immovable assets, trees, plants and crops, and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits as per the new Act.
The compensation will now shoot up to over a few crore of rupees per acre as against the approximate compensation of Rs.8-10 lakh per acre which is as per the 1999 land values around Kengeri and Bidadi areas, said an official.
Around 18,000 acres of lands, situated between Bangalore and Mysore, were notified from 1999 onwards but a major portion of it was yet to be acquired, except for lands already utilised for the formation of a peripheral ring road and a link road built as part of the BMICP, being executed by private company Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises (NICE).
The KIADB’s decision followed after the Law Department gave an opinion that the contractual obligation between the State and the private company, for acquiring the lands at the rates prevailing in 1999 when the preliminary notifications for acquisition were issued, will not be binding on the land owners, as they would be entitled for higher compensation in terms of the new Act, which became effective from January 1, 2014.
The Law Department has also clarified that compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement benefits in terms of the new Act will have to be offered to the owners of lands in cases where the government is yet to declare compensation or paid the compensation despite passing of the award.
Besides allegations about irregularities in the implementation of the project, farmers and other land owners were up in arms as the government had offered a paltry sum as compensation based on the guidance value of 1999 when the lands were notified for the project.