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62 km Srinagar Semi Ring Road project: HC directs for compensation to residents of 2 Budgam villages

Post by Syed Rukaya on Sunday, November 20, 2022

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Srinagar, Nov 19: The High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh set aside the final award for the land acquired for the construction of 62-kilometre Srinagar Semi Ring Road project with a direction to the Collector Land Acquisition, Budgam to pass fresh award qua the residents of two villages of Budgam district – Wathoora and Darmunah only.

The court set aside the final award of Rs 38 lakh per kanal, pertaining to the petitioners only, passed by the competent authority on August 11, 2020 in favour of the farmers whose land was acquired and taken over by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the construction of Semi Ring Road around Srinagar.

A division bench of Justices, Sanjeev Kumar and Waseem Sadiq Nargal directed the Collector Land Acquisition, Budgam to pass fresh award qua the petitioners only and for that purpose shall construe August 11, 2020 (date of the final award) as the relevant date for determination of market value "but shall apply the yardsticks for assessment of compensation provided under the J&K Land Acquisition Act 1990 in respect of acquired land of the petitioners only".

The bench directed the Collector to calculate other statutory benefits on such amounts including interest to be calculated and determined by taking into consideration the date of taking over possession i.e. March 13, 2018.

While making payment of compensation assessed in terms of the judgment, the bench directed that the amount of compensation, if any, received by the petitioners shall be taken into account.

It further directed that the compensation determined in favour of the petitioners pursuant to this judgment shall not give a cause of action to any other land loser, whose land is acquired under the same notification to seek re-determination of the compensation.

The court passed the rulings in two petitions filed by the residents of two villages of Budgam district, Wathoora and Darmunah seeking direction to the respondents to initiate fresh land acquisition proceedings in respect of the land estate of the petitioners situated in village Wathoora and Darmunah Budgam, strictly as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The court directed that the possession of land losers even after payment and tendering of 80% of the estimated compensation and formal takeover by the acquiring authority/indenting department shall be treated as trespassers.

In 2016, the NHAI placed an indent for acquiring land for the construction of 62 km Srinagar Semi Ring Road project around Srinagar City.

NHAI started acquiring around 900 acres of irrigated land in the valley for the project. Out of 900 acres, around 600 acres of farmland were to be acquired in district Budgam alone.

The project is aimed at decongesting the traffic on Jammu -Srinagar- Baramulla highway (NH44).

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