Hyderabad Metro: Court cases stall Metro Rail work in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad: In spite of the new Land Acquisition Act that came into force on January 1, 2014, which stipulates 100 per cent solacium to be paid in addition to the land value and without any income tax deduction, 40 cases have been referred to the court by the land acquisition cell.

In most cases dispute arises on the share in compensation among family members and between owners and tenants. All cases that are referred to courts pertain to a title deed. Two parties claim ownership of the land and in the case of tenants claiming a major share of the pie in compensation, the case always takes time as they have to prove the Tenancy Act.

K Shankara Chary, Special Deputy Collector (Land Acquisition), said, “Two groups are claiming right of the property at St Thomas’ (SPG) Tamil Cathedral in Secunderabad. The case is referred to the court.” Hyderabad Metro Rail has already acquired 2007 square yards. A senior official of the Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) said that the longer the court cases take, the greater the delay. In the case of SPG Church, however, HMR is going ahead with the work.

“Two associations are claiming the right to property and it is only to share the compensation package,” said Solomon, a resident of Rezimental Bazaar. In a similar case, 14 persons filed petitions claiming their share in the Rs 5.49 crore allotted as compensation for 915 square yards of land that was acquired at Maqbara Nawab Fakhr-ul-mulk at SR Nagar.

“Several mulgies were built next to the maqbara so that the rent could be used to maintain the over 100-year-old structure. But the tenants now have gone to court and want a major share in the compensation,” said Mir Sarfaraz Hussain, who claims to be the great grandson of Nawab Fakhr-ul-mulk.

“In corridor I, out of the 80 properties acquired, 29 have been referred to the city civil court. But not all acquired properties are referred,” said Shankara Chary. To substantiate his case he said, “In corridor III, the 39 properties that were acquired were not referred to the court.” A senior official at the land acquisition cell said, “Many a time we counsel the parties to come to an understanding or the case would be referred to the court and it may take a long time.”

Only a few agree. Even in the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) in Secunderabad, the management agreed to land acquisition only when HMR officials convinced the representatives of Iskcon that the assets of the temple would not be affected. Initially, HMR wanted 1,333 square yards but later agreed to 612.77 square yards.

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