The 102 cents of land adjacent to the Secretariat annexe was acquired by the government ‘by force' on Thursday invoking the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act and including it in the Fast Track Project for constructing a new annexe.

The land was acquired as the nine joint property owners of the land had refused to voluntarily give up the land even after discussions and fixing the value for the plot. When the process to acquire the plot began at 9 a.m., one of the owners, John Jacob, appeared before the officials and gave his consent. Two others were also represented.

A ‘mahasar' was prepared and the list of movable and immovable properties in the plot was prepared by the officials. The electricity and water connections to the buildings and houses in the plot were disconnected. K.G. Vijayakumar, Under Secretary, General Administration, took over the plot on behalf of the government. A board was also erected in the plot indicating that it had been taken over for constructing Secretariat Annexe-II.

The value of the property has been fixed at Rs.6.56 crore. In March, a sum of Rs.10 crore had been deposited with the District Collector to acquire the 102 cents. Another 29 cents of land behind the Secretariat Annexe-I was acquired in March itself.

Official sources said the government was of the view that the General Education Department should also be housed in the 2-lakh sq feet building in addition to the Finance and Taxes wing. A sub-treasury and three clinics –modern medicine, ayurveda and homeopathy – to take care of the health needs of the 4,500-odd Secretariat employees, and a canteen have been proposed in the new annexe. A meeting of all concerned has been convened to discuss the issue of housing the departments on November 23.