Kerala

NHAI challenges higher compensation

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NH bypass work along Kottukal-Karode stretch

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has gone in appeal against the decision of the District Collector and Arbitrator to give an enhanced compensation to 88 persons who surrendered their land and buildings in the Kottukal-Karode stretch of the 43-km Kazhakuttam-Karode National Highway 66 Bypass.

The NHAI has pointed out that the January 30, 2018, order of District Collector and Arbitrator K. Vasuki to give 50% enhanced compensation and 9% interest from the date of notification of land acquisition, is in violation of the National Highways Act 1956 and Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

The decision to hike the compensation by 50% is in violation of Section 75 and 81 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and Section 3 G (7) of the National Highways Act 1956, the NHAI has said in the letter opposing the order. Taking a tough stance as directed by the headquarters, the NHAI has filed appeals against 32 cases in which owners got orders of enhanced compensation for the land and buildings surrendered in Kottukal, Kanjiramkulam, Thirupuram, Chenkal, and Karode villages along the 16.3 km Mukkola-Karode corridor. “We are in the process of filing appeals for the remaining cases in the district court, Thiruvananthapuram,” an NHAI official told The Hindu.

₹4.87 lakh a cent

This has affected the prospects of landowners getting ₹4.87 lakh a cent and 9% interest close to five years. Surprisingly, the NHAI did not oppose the 15% hike in the compensation and 9% interest announced by the previous Arbitrator and District Collector N. Venkatesapathy. The NHAI had even transferred ₹7.33 crore from the centralised account of the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA).

The Vengapotta-based Kazhakuttam-Karode Bypass Action Council alleged that the NHAI was dragging to court the 1,400 who surrendered land. The move was to delay the work and cause hardships to landowners, council chairman V. Sudhakaran said. The action council will meet on January 2 to decide on the future course of action. As many as 1,769 persons had surrendered land for the Reach II from Mukkola to Karode. The Arbitrator was appointed following a 15-day stir by the council in May 2017 demanding higher compensation.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 4:03:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/nhai-challenges-higher-compensation/article25844564.ece

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