NHAI approaches Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking probe into compensation granted for land

NHAI has contended that an award, under Section 3-A of the National Highways Act of 1956, was to be passed with respect to the Memmadpur-Banur-Kharar (six-lane Greenfield Expressway from Ambala to Chandigarh).

NHAI
The Mohali Deputy Commissioner had informed that the award would be finalized by 15 November 2021.

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking directions to the state government of Punjab, or any other agency, to probe an ante-dated order passed by the then competent authority for land acquisition awarding compensation of an additional amount of Rs 263 crore. The National Highways Authority of India has contended that an award, under Section 3-A of the National Highways Act of 1956, was to be passed with respect to the Memmadpur-Banur-Kharar (six-lane Greenfield Expressway from Ambala to Chandigarh). According to an IE report, the Mohali Deputy Commissioner had informed that the award would be finalized by 15 November 2021. The highway authority contended that however, the award was passed on 30 September 2021.

Meanwhile, it was reported that the Supreme Court has recently asked the NHAI to deposit the entire enhanced amount of land compensation which is to be paid to farmers/landowners whose lands were acquired for the widening of NH-24 on the Bareilly-Sitapur Section in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Besides, the apex court has also allowed the landowners/farmers to withdraw half of the amount so paid by the highway authority. The direction to grant compensation at commercial rates was given by the district judge and was upheld by the Allahabad High Court subsequently in the month of April last year.

Initially, in October 2012, the competent authority had determined the land compensation according to circle rates applicable to the agricultural land, since it was so recorded in the revenue record. However, landowners/farmers, seeking higher compensation on the grounds that their acquired lands were utilized for commercial purposes, had moved the district magistrate, Shahjahanpur. In August 2020, the district judge had set aside the arbitral award as well as ordered paying enhanced compensation, treating the subject land to be commercial land.

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