Order CBI inquiry into malpractices, members say

The Federation of Affected People of National Highways here has urged the State government to implement the Madras High Court order on the issue of compensation within three months to the affected people and farmers from 140 villages who lost their properties to the recently-laid Salem- Attur- Ulundurpet National Highway.

The federation also demanded a CBI inquiry against the officials, who allegedly indulged in malpractices while laying the road.

The federation members pointed out that the court after disposing of a PIL in the issue had directed the Collectors of Salem and Villupuram districts to decide on the compensation as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of three months from the date of filing claim petitions individually seeking higher compensation.

Claim

The court had further directed that the claim of each farmer for higher compensation shall be decided independently as the same cannot be decided in representative capacity and asked the farmers concerned besides the petitioner to file individual claim petitions for enhancement of compensation.

The farmers claimed that while laying the highways, lands, houses, irrigation wells and other immovable properties had been alienated from people living in 140 villages through which the highways pass through. They said that they had been claiming higher compensation for the losses they incurred.

“But, the authorities concerned have not obliged us. Hence, I approached the court through PIL,” said affected people’s representative R. Gopalakrishnan.

The federation members, however, resolved that they should be given higher compensation as per the instructions of the High Court.

Delay

“Any delay would force farmers to collect toll from highway users. Those who gave lands should be given identity cards and toll should not be collected from them. The toll fare should not be raised by the operators arbitrarily,” they insisted.

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