K. Srimali

UDA's land acquisition process put on hold

15 property owners moved Court against notification Petitioners contend GO not valid as it is over three-years oldOwners submitting land voluntarily to get additional floor area ratio

VIJAYAWADA: The Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali and Mangalagiri - Urban Development Authority (VGTM-UDA) wants to move ahead with land acquisition for widening of the first phase of Bandar Road only after the High Court vacates the stay it gave on July 4.

An appeal for vacation of stay has already been filed, when the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation Commissioner Natarajan Gulzar held fort in VGTM-UDA as its vice-chairman till last week. It will come up for hearing on Thursday.

After the district administration issued a draft notification on May 12 for acquiring land for widening the road up to 120 feet, 15 property owners moved Court seeking quashing of the notification.

It came as a natural consequence to the long-standing opposition of the property owners on this stretch to part with the land . The draft notification listed out 94 properties , including three in the second phase.

Not in favour

The petitioners contended that the GO cited in the notification, mentioning the proposed width of Bandar Road as 120 feet, was not valid, as it was issued more than three years ago.

VGTM-UDA vice-chairman Y.S. Prasad, told The Hindu on Tuesday that the UDA was not in favour of continuing the acquisition process till the stay was in force, "in view of some of the recent experiences." He was alluding to the contempt proceedings initiated against Mr. Gulzar for pulling down certain structures when a stay was in force.

After the draft notification was published, individual notices were served on the property owners to conduct the mandated inquiry under Section 5 (a) of the relevant Act. It was to give opportunity to those who stand to lose their property to air their objections.

Compensation provided

UDA officials are still hoping that the owners will voluntarily come forward to give their lands for widening the road , by opting for the choice cited in the notification.

Such owners will get structural compensation as well as additional floor area ratio (also called floor space index), which can be used to add to the existing building or anywhere in the city.