Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday stayed the acquisition of land on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Bangalore by the State Government for the construction of the Metro railway station by Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation (BMRC).

Justice Ashok B. Hinchigeri passed the interim order on a petition by C.D. Medappa and another person, both residents of Craig Park Layout on Mahatma Gandhi Road.

The petitioners contended that they are the absolute owners of land at Municipal Number 21 on the road. They said that on January 23, 2006, the Karnataka Industries Areas Development Board (KIADB) issued a notification for acquiring their land for construction of the metro railway station.

Subsequently, the board issued a final notification under Section 28 (4) of the KIADB Act on October 24, 2007 for taking over their land. On December 29, 2007, the Board issued another notification giving them 30 days time to vacate the premises.

Questioning the preliminary and final notifications and also the notice asking them to vacate the premises, the petitioners said the Board’s orders smacked of arbitrariness.

They said though the notifications stated that their lands are being acquired for industrial purposes, Metro is not an industrial project. Nor is the Metro project an undertaking for building up industrial infrastructure.

The petitioner said their lands are surrounded by several houses and it is residential in nature. If the metro station was to come up, it would lead to noise and sound pollution apart from regular movement of people. They said many of these problems would not be encountered if the station were to be shifted.

Justice Hinchigeri, in an interim order, stayed the acquisition of the property. He ordered issue of notices to the State, BMRC and other parties.