HC extends Ring Road status-quo order till March

Srinagar, Dec 15: As Deputy Commissioner Budgam failed to file objections in the Srinagar Ring Road petition filed by dozens of land owners from Budgam, the Jammu & Kashmir High Court gave Govt last opportunity and directed to file the same by March 10th and asked the Deputy Commissioner to appear in person before the court, if the objections were not filed.

The High Court division bench of Justice A M Magrey and Justice Javaid Iqbal has also extended the interim order (status-quo) on construction of Srinagar Ring Road till March 10th. The same was to end on December 14th.

Several petitions from Budgam district on Srinagar Ring Road were clubbed together and listed before the high court division bench on Tuesday. The petitioners from villages like Wathoora , Khanda , Ganjibagh , Ichgam , Dharmuna , Pymus and many other villages have been demanding that their land was being forcibly acquired as the notification issued by Govt under section 6 of erstwhile J&K land acquisition act 1934 samvat 1990 had lapsed due to efflux of time.

“The Deputy Commissioner Budgam through his official communication with Divisional Commissioner Kashmir in May 2020 has himself said that notification under old land acquisition act had lapsed and Govt had to issue fresh notification under new law but that was not at all done. We are not against land acquisition but we demand fair compensation for our land as per Central Act which is our right. We can’t give land to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for peanuts” said Ghulam Nabi Bhat a landowners from Wathoora Budgam.

The petitioners have been seeking intervention of the High Court for issuance of a fresh notification to be issued under central act (Right to Fair Compensation law) which has been extended to J&K post article 370 abrogation.

Pertinently the land owners, whose land was to be acquired by Islamic University of Science and Technology (IUST), Awantipora, for expansion of its campus,  got a great relief from the division bench of Jammu & Kashmir High Court in October this year as the court held that applying J&K’s repealed land acquisition act for payment of compensation (making of awards) was invalid and illegal as central act has already been extended to J&K post article 370 abrogation.

The aggrieved farmers also allege that assessment for their fruit trees was made as per 1996 rates which are 5 to 6 times less than present rates. They have said that fresh assessment be made for apple, pear and plum trees as well. kns

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