Calcutta High Court upholds land acquisition for East-West metro
With the Calcutta High Court passing an order on Friday upholding the land acquisition by the transport department in Bowbazar area, work on the East-West Metro corridor that got entangled in a legal hassle is all set to gain momentum.kolkata Updated: Jun 28, 2013 09:29 IST
With the Calcutta High Court passing an order on Thursday upholding the land acquisition by the transport department in Bowbazar area, work on the East-West Metro corridor that got entangled in a legal hassle is all set to gain momentum.
A two-judge appeal bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Joymalya Bagchi observed that the compensatory award for the acquired land was passed within the stipulated period of two years.
Earlier, the Central Calcutta Citizens’ Welfare Association (CCCWA), an organisation of tenants affected by the land acquisition, had filed a petition in the court claiming that the acquisition was illegal. In September 2012, Justice Jyotirmoy Bhattacharjee had cancelled the land acquisition process initiated by the state government on the ground that the land award passed in November 2011 was illegal. Justice Bhattacharjee had also directed the state government to return the possession of those tenants within two weeks.
“Following the order, the work on the East-West Metro was almost stalled. But the state government decided to appeal before the division bench. In March, this year, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court stayed the single bench order. The move paved the way for resumption of work for the project,” said a senior officer of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation - the implementing agency of the project.
Only 30% of the Rs 4,875-crore project has been completed till date. Work on the 14.6 km long project linking Salt Lake and Howrah started in April 2009. The original deadline was 2013-14, however, it has, now, been revised after work got stalled due to land problems.
“The project is stuck in at least three points - Bowbazar, BBD Bag and Duttabad in Salt Lake. Due to this the project cost has also escalated by more than 30%,” a senior official of the KMRC said. The official, however, expressed satisfaction over the high court order and said, “I have not yet received the order copy. However, it is a big relief as work would again start on the project.”