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Compensation package for ORR oustees approved

Special Correspondent

Cabinet nod for sub-committee's recommendations

At least Rs. 8 lakhs per acre for farm land acquired for ORR Cash compensation to be doubled, says Minister Shabbir

HYDERABAD: Families displaced by the Outer Ring Road project in Hyderabad will now get land-to-land compensation apart from more money for their loss.

Seeking to put an end to this contentious issue that fuelled agitations by the oustees and political parties, the State Cabinet on Wednesday approved in toto a new package recommended by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Finance Minister K. Rosaiah. The Government labelled it as the "biggest package ever offered in India."

Under this package, the compensation payable to 750 affected families from whom 5,500 acres was acquired for the 140-km stretch of Phase I of the ORR project will be Rs. 1,170 crores--a hike of 1,000 crores. For another 440 acres acquired in a separate 24-km stretch, Rs. 80 crores is being set aside. The ORR project is scheduled for completion in 2009.

Information Minister Mohd. Ali Shabbir said the cash compensation for agriculture lands had been doubled by fixing a minimum price of Rs. 8 lakhs an acre. In addition, if a family loses 80 per cent of its land, it will get a 400-square yard developed plot for each acre lost, subject to a ceiling of 1,200 sq yards.

In layouts approved by the HUDA or Director, Town & Country Planning, developed plots equivalent to 75 per cent of the lost plot will offered subject to a maximum of 900 sq yards. If the family insists on cash compensation, double the present rate will be paid. Losers in gram panchayat and unauthorised layouts will get developed plots equivalent to 50 per cent of the plot lost subject to a maximum of 600 sq yards or double the present cash compensation. Losers of assigned lands will get 90 per cent of cash or land-to-land compensation as applicable to the agriculture lands.

The package will allow ex-gratia payment of Rs. 1.5 lakhs an acre of encroached land. Those who lost houses will get a 250 sq yd. plot and house-sites.

Piyush Kumar, ORR Project Director, said plots offered to the oustees would be developed in over 700 acres being acquired at a cost of Rs. 210 crores in ten villages.