HC notice on acquisition of land for connecting road

CHANDIGARH: The acquisition of land in Dhanas and Dadu Majra to connect Dakshin Marg with “PR-4” in Punjab has come under judicial scanner, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court issuing notice of motion on a petition alleging that the value of land belonging to politicians and bureaucrats there would increase by several crores.

editorial@tribune.com

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 20

The acquisition of land in Dhanas and Dadu Majra to connect Dakshin Marg with “PR-4” in Punjab has come under judicial scanner, with the Punjab and Haryana High Court issuing notice of motion on a petition alleging that the value of land belonging to politicians and bureaucrats there would increase by several crores.

Taking up the matter, the Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shankar Jha and Justice Rajiv Sharma also fixed February 19 next as the date of hearing.

The petitioners, Jaspal Singh and others, contended that the Dhanas-Mullanpur-Siswan road connecting Punjab with Dakshin Marg in Chandigarh was just 2 km from the proposed connecting road.

The petitioner’s counsel, Charanpal Singh Bagri, also contended that numerous residential and commercial projects were being set up by “famous private companies and builders” in Punjab abutting the PR-4 road.

He added that the “appropriate government” was trying to project the acquisition of land for construction of 200 feet connectivity road to serve public purpose just to deprive the landowners of their legal rights enshrined under the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013”.

Bagri added that the intention was to especially deprive 20 per cent reservation of land for landowners in case of urbanisation. “Actually, it would serve the ulterior motives of builders, developers and politician who have already started their development projects as such amounting to urbanisation,” he submitted.

Bagri added that the UT Administrator, just prior to acquisition of land in Dhanas and Dadu Majra, also notified “Policy for land acquisition through negotiation”, which was in contravention of the mandatory procedure and provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.

Bagri also told the court that this was the first-of-its-kind acquisition process initiated without updating the revenue record or the record of rights of the land concerned. He added that the same had not been updated for the last so many decades.

Bagri also sought directions for considering the rate of land in question on a par with the rate of commercial and residential area, which was part and parcel of the same village. Elaborating, he submitted half area was part of Milk Colony in Dhanas and the remaining part was subject matter of acquisition, where collector rate was more than Rs 19 crore per acre.

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