HC rejects owners’ plea, frees land for Hero Honda Chowk underpass in Gurgaon
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday set aside the petition of land owners in the Sugandh restaurant case, paving the way for acquisition of the land required for construction of an underpass at Hero Honda Chowk. The petitioners, led by Dharm Singh, were demanding alternative plots in lieu of the land that Huda wanted to acquire from them.
Soon after the court’s decision was announced, Huda officials swung into action on Monday evening and started demolition of structures at the disputed site.
“We will take possession of the land on Tuesday as a crucial highway project has been stuck for several years due to the dispute. This decision will have a positive impact on the infrastructure of the entire city,” said Yashpal Yadav, Huda administrator, who has been in Chandigarh regularly to present the authority’s side in the high court.
The land owners, however, said they should have been given time to seek relief from the Supreme Court.
The land in question at Hero Honda Chowk is needed for construction of an underpass and to widen the intersection that is expected to remove a major traffic bottleneck. This project will ensure that thousands of vehicles that get stuck at this intersection can cross the highway easily. Major industrial sectors are situated on both sides of the road at this point.
The high court upheld Huda’s stand that the relief and rehabilitation policy of the Haryana government did not provide for allotment of alternative plots, but only for payment of compensation in lieu of the land, barring some exceptions.
Yadav also said that it was after a lot of hard work and efforts that this decision came the authority’s way. “We have had multiple meetings with the land owners, including that of Sugandh, and had even offered them alternative plots on a conditional basis based on the outcome of the Yogesh Nima case in the Supreme Court on land acquisition under Section 24(2) of the acquisition act,” he said.
The Huda needs to acquire 900 metres of land from multiple owners who have refused to accept compensation and were demanding alternative plots citing an instance of 2005 in which the urban authority had given plots in lieu of land acquired at Hero Honda Chowk.
Sita Ram Singhal, owner of the restaurant, said the Huda was acting in haste and the authority should have waited for the court order. “We will approach the Supreme Court for relief. The authority should have given us time to file a petition,” he said.
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