Thursday, November 13, 2008

Court asks State whether metro stations can be located in parks

Court asks State whether metro stations can be located in parks

Staff Reporter

It was hearing petitions challenging acquisition of land for Bangalore Metro

Bangalore Metro has decided to acquire a small portion of Lalbagh: counsel

‘The Parks and Playground Act have to be amended to permit such an acquisition’

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday sought to know from the Advocate-General (AG) on whether Bangalore Metro stations could be constructed in parks.

The court was hearing petitions challenging the acquisition of land and property for construction of Bangalore Metro.

When a case relating to acquisition of Lakshmi Towers, near South End in Jayanagar, came up for hearing, the petitioner said the then Chief Minister had remarked that the station would not be constructed on private land. However, that assurance had come to naught and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) had decided to acquire the building for the construction of a station for Bangalore Metro.

The petitioner said the station could be set up in the park which is adjacent to the building.

But he was unsure whether the law relating to parks and playgrounds would permit the use of parks for such an activity.

Justice Manjunath, who is hearing the cases relating to Bangalore Metro, asked the AG whether metro stations could be located in parks, to avoid acquisition of private property.

He also wanted the AG to ascertain whether the authorities had considered the remark of the Chief Minister before deciding on the location of the station.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that Bangalore Metro had decided to acquire a small portion of Lalbagh, and that the provisions of the Parks and Playground Act would have to be amended to permit such an acquisition.

He said that if the Government amended the Act, its benefit could also be given to his client and the metro station at South End could be located in the park.

When a petitioner from C.M.H. Road challenged the acquisition of his building by the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) for the metro project, Mr. Justice Manjunath asked the KIADB why it wanted to acquire only a portion of the building.

He asked the KIADB what the owner could do with only a part of the building. With the metro trains operating once every few minutes, could the petitioner live there, he asked.

He also wanted to know whether the KIADB was willing to compensate him for the entire building.

Mr. Justice Manjunath adjourned further hearing of the case.

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