People living in 150 houses at Rajeeva Nagar here are a distraught lot ever since the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) issued a notification that their land will be acquired to construct a parking bay by the side of widened National Highway 17.
The highway widening work is in progress.
Most of them are daily wage earners. They have been living in Rajeeva Nagar for the past 50 years. NHAI issued a notification in a Kannada daily on January 8 stating that land bearing survey numbers 174/1A2, 174/1P and 174/1C would be acquired to widen the national highway. But the landowners said that their property would not come in the way of the highway.
Their land was being targeted to construct a parking bay by the side of the widened highway. Vice-president of the Rajeeva Nagar Nittoor Ulisi Horata Samiti P. Ammanni told presspersons that they were not opposing the project to widen the highway. Widening of the highway to 60 ft would not affect their houses.
But NHAI wanted six acres of land in Rajeeva Nagar, which included their property, to construct a parking bay.
“We have title deeds and ration cards. We have been living here for 40 years,” Ms. Ammanni said.
President of Kodankur Friends' Organisation Sadashiva Kotian said that the notice for land acquisition had been published in the newspaper without any officials visiting the area or conducting any survey.
No notice had been given to the people. “There is vacant land near Rajeeva Nagar which can be acquired for the parking bay project,” he added.
“It is not possible for us to leave our homes now. It is impossible to go to another place and build a house,” said Lakshmi, a daily wage earner.
Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha told The Hindu that the district administration would identify alternative land for the project. But NHAI had to take a decision on the issue, she said.
NHAI wants to build a parking bay by the side of NH 17