Three years after their land was acquired for the BengaluruChennai Express Corridor Road, more than 5,000 people in the overpasses of the corridor are yet to receive compensation.
BangaloreChennai Expressway Santrasta Raitara Horata Samiti (BCESRHS), a local organization formed by the Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha (KPRS) to help the affected families in Kolar, along with farmers, has been demanding that those who have lost their land to the road development project should be provided compensation at the current market price.
On May 27, 2015, the Central Government had issued a land acquisition notice under the National Highways Act, 1956. The final notification for land acquisition was issued in 2016.
Special Land Acquisition Officers had acquired over 3,000 acres of land in more than 63 villages in Malur, Bangarapete and Mulbagal towns and in Kolar Gold Fields tehsil in Kolar District.
KPRS wants the National Highways Authority of India to compensate the farmers at the current market rate instead of considering compensation under the Guidance Value (the minimum price set by the state government to register a property).
The farmers also claim that ever since construction started on the acquired land, the trees and plants have yet to be priced and argue that their value, too, should be based on the current market price, along with the landrelief fund.
They have demanded that farmers holding 500 acres of bagar hukum land (government land cultivated without permission) be compensated at the current market rate.
KPRS has urged the National Highways Authority of India to provide free toll admission cards to farmers who have lost their land to toll projects, which will allow them to use the highway without paying a toll fee.
BCESRHS adviser G.C. Bayya Reddy said, If the problem is not solved by the state government by September, we will appeal to Karnataka Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy on October 3, 2018. The chief minister had cancelled the appointment; however, the farmers have filed a petition under the tribunal of the Kolar District Magistrate.
We will wait until October for adequate compensation. If the farmers do not receive it, we will challenge the case in the High Court, Reddy added.
The project aims to reduce travel time on the 90metrewide expressway, which will run parallel to the existing NH4. It is part of the Centres larger expressway plan, which will build a 1,000km expressway network across the country.