Thursday, August 13, 2009

HC stays land acquisition for NICE township

HC stays land acquisition for NICE township

Staff Reporter
Notices to NICE, NECE, KIADB and others issued
Farmers of Gonipura, Seegehalli approach court

NICE asked to maintain status quo at Chikathoguru

BANGALORE: In a major blow to Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprise (NICE), the Karnataka High Court on Wednesday stayed the move to dispossess farmers of nearly 600 acres of land for construction of the first of the seven townships near Kengeri under the contentious Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP).

In a related development, the court ordered status quo on acquisition of land by NICE for construction of a peripheral road at Chikathoguru near Electronics City.

The Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project envisages construction of an expressway between Bangalore and Mysore, peripheral and link roads and seven townships.

Both the orders were passed by Justice B.S. Patil who issued emergent notices to NICE, Nandi Economic Corridor Enterprise (NECE), Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) and others.

In the first case, Channappa and 127 others of Gonipura, Seegehalli, Tippur and adjoining areas, all in Kengeri hobli of Bangalore south, contended that NICE and NECE were attempting to acquire 600 acres of land for construction of the first township as part of the BMIC Project.

They said they were all farmers and that they did not want to be dispossessed of their land. NICE, they said, had sought to acquire 2,776 acres of land for the first township, 1,836 for the second, 3,437 for the third, 1,615 for the fourth, 2,682 for the fifth, 3,461 for the sixth and 4,285 acres for the seventh township. In all, NICE wanted to acquire more than 20,000 acres for the townships.

The petitioners said the courts had repeatedly held that acquisition of lands and the project should be as per the FWA and as originally conceived. They said the ICTPR report on acquisition of their lands had been kept under warps till March 2009.

They urged the court to direct NICE and others not to dispossess them of their lands.

Justice B.S. Patil, in an interim order, directed the authorities not to dispossess the farmers and landowners from the disputed land.

In a related case, Mr. Justice Patil directed NICE, NECE and KIADB to maintain status quo on the acquisition of land at Chikathoguru, Bangalore, for the alignment of a peripheral road under the BMICP.

The judge passed the orders on petitions by Chinamma, Ramayya, Bayya Reddy and 25 others, all of Chikathoguru whose land were sought to be acquired by NICE and NECE for the BMIC Project.

The petitioners contended that as per the FWA and as originally conceived, the peripheral road was supposed to come up 2 km south of Chikathoguru.

However, NICE had deliberately and illegally changed the alignment without obtaining clearances from the authorities, the petitioners alleged.

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