HC bars land acquisition for corridor

Passes interim order to allay fears among people of being dispossessed
In an attempt to allay fears among people whose lands are to be acquired for the Rs. 10,000-crore eight-lane Chennai-Salem expressway, the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the Centre, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) and the State government not to dispossess landowners of their properties until further orders. The interim order was passed by a Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and V. Bhavani Subbaroyan on a batch of cases filed by a few landowners as well as public interest litigants against the land acquisition proceedings. It, however, would not preclude officials from carrying out works such as survey of land and marking boundaries. The judges chose to issue the direction after senior counsel N.L. Rajah, representing PMK Member of Parliament Anbumani Ramadoss, who had also filed a public interest litigation petition against the acquisition, brought to the notice of the court that most landowners were afraid of being dispossessed of their properties at any moment. Penning the interim order, Justice Sivagnanam said that such a direction had become necessary especially because pamphlets issued on behalf of the Kancheepuram Collector, explaining the salient features of the ambitious expressway project and the benefits that would ensue on its completion, did not contain any assurance that there was no immediate threat of dispossession.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/dont-dispossess-ryots-of-their-land-for-project/article24748562.ece

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