Over 30 shops have been demolished on the Mysore- Bangalore Highway for the new expansion project. But, most of them have not been compensated.
The construction for the eight- lane project between Mysore and Bangalore has begun. In the land acquisition process more than 30 shops have been demolished on the stretch from Kengeri to Kumbalgodu. But most shop owners say they haven’t been compensated.
Sachin Mahesh, a shop owner, said, “Nobody has come from the authority’s side and talked to us about the compensation. Already 20 to 25 shops have been demolished but we haven’t received any notice or compensation”.
According to the Land Acquisition Act compensation should be made according to the market value of the land and no work can be started without doing so.
Even though the shop owners have been complaining about no compensations, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), with an estimated budget of Rs. 6,500 crore for the project, has been denying such complaints and says all dues have been fixed and given as per market price.
Lokesh Kumar, a shop owner, said, “Some authorities had come and just asked us to vacate the area. They haven’t said anything else. We will already be facing a loss. On top of that, they haven’t given us any details regarding the compensation”.
Expert says while expansion of a highway is a good step to reduce commute time and traffic density, the authorities need to take care of the rehabilitation of the shop owners.
Vandana Venkatesh, an advocate, said, “According to the Land Acquisition Act, there is usually a notice issued. Even before the notice is given to the owners there is a long process. So, if the owners agree to it, they will be paid an amount by the authority and only then they can start the demolitions. Without the owners agreeing to the conditions, they cannot start the development work. A lot of times most people do not have the right documents for their property, which causes a delay or disagreement for the compensation.”
Though the new expanded highway will make life easier for many commuters, it has given a tough time to many land owners.