The New Indian Express, 6 Aug 2014, Kakkanad: The district administration has decided to go a bit aggressive to acquire land for the Metro rail project. To overcome the delay in completing land acquisition procedures for Kochi Metro rail project, the district administration has decided to take over the land from the public on ‘forcible’ method.
Based upon the powers vested on him, the District Collector, who also wields executive magistrate’s powers, can acquire land in situations of emergency for crucial projects within 48 hours after issuing a notice to the party. “There are a few cases wherein the owners of land failed to attend the negotiation fixed by the district administration. In those cases, we will forcefully acquire the land if needed. Such acquisitions will be based on the 1894 LA Act section 17,” said District Collector M G Rajamanickam.
Initially, the land acquisition was moving at a snail’s pace as the state government had failed to issue renewed land acquisition orders on a par with the Central Government orders.
The land acquisition proceedings again gained pace after the authorities gave power to the KMRL to directly purchase land by forming a district-level purchase committee.
Over 80 per cent of land was acquired but the remaining 20 per cent was caught in issues as the owners were not willing to surrender their land.
“The acquisition is almost nearing completion. We have adopted the direct purchasing system for the land acquisition to avoid the delay. There are some parties who are not willing to surrender their land at the price fixed by the administration and that too will be cleared with the new move,” said an official in the district administration.
The department had also issued notices to the parties, reportedly big businessmen, who were not willing to accept the negotiation fixed by the district administration.
Cases involving land near Malabar Gold, Oriental Timbers and Pathadippalam where Metro stations are to come up, will be considered in the next sitting.
The discussions to remove 35 hoardings along the stretch between South junction and South Railway station have also reached the final stage, said Rajamanickam.