Third phase of land acquisition is nearing completion

Even as an Expert Appraisal Committee of the Ministry of Environment has recommended environmental clearance for the proposed Kannur airport and steps for the third phase of land acquisition are nearing completion, uncertainty looms large over fixing the compensation for civil structures.

During the second phase of land acquisition, the value of buildings was assessed on the basis of Public Works Department (PWD) rates in 2008-09.

When the rates for the third phase were finalised in 2011, an 18 per cent appreciation in the rates was recommended.

Meanwhile, a letter was forwarded by the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (KINFRA) in early 2011 to the Transport Secretary to fix the price for buildings and houses according to the PWD rates in 2010.

However, a government order is yet to be passed, and the 2008 prices prevail.

One of the land owners said there would be a depreciation of Rs.4 lakh on the total assessed value of a house that cost over Rs.20 lakh if the earlier rates were to be implemented.

Nearly 100 people whose land would be acquired in the third phase face a similar situation.

The appraisal committee, in its recommendation for environmental clearance, had asked Kannur International Airport Ltd. to provide rehabilitation and resettlement package to the affected families as per local norms. A decision in this regard is yet to be taken, C.P. Prakash Babu, a landowner and action committee member, says.

A meeting in September last with the District Collector had put to rest many apprehensions of the land owners’ action committee, which approved of the revised rates for their land.

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