Friday, 1 July 2011

Glories of government land grab

I read a puzzling and very troubling news about the High Court asking the Government of Karnataka to provide details regarding the utility of 2,650 acres of land allocated to Bangalore International Airport (BIA).

The story is that that the government wants to acquire even more land i.e 1000 acres for an aerospace park and guess what the project requires just 35 acres and govt. has not even paid compensation for some of the land owners from whom it had grabbed land earlier.

This is another case of government preying on its citizens and once again shows us the importance of property rights as the only way to prevent tyranny.
The court rightfully has asked what is the utility of the land that was grabbed and it has come out strongly against the state. I do not think it will make any difference until "Right to Property" is a fundamental right all existing clauses, sub clauses and other means of acquiring land for development purposes, for public good etc., are revoked.

Below is the full news item and exposes the sinister intents of the government. By the way I did a quick research and comparison between our own BIA and the Heathrow in London one of the busiest airports of the world. As you will notice BIA has way to much land than it requies for its buisiness.

  Heathrow  BIA
Total size of Airport: 1,227 hectares 1,600 hectares
Number of runways 2 1
Aircraft stands 119 42
Number of remote stands 80 19
Number of airlines 89 31
Number of destinations served: 176 in 90 separate countries 50 destinations across India & of the world

HC pulls up government over land acquisition

Express News Service
The New Indian Express
BANGALORE: The High Court on Tuesday said that the submissions made by the State Government over the land acquisition for Aerospace Industrial Area near Devanahalli are unacceptable, vague and evasive and adjourned the further hearing of the case. Justice D V Shylendra Kumar observed that the court had asked the government how the project originated and what was the basis to acquire 1,069 acres of land.
The state government replied that some very important companies,without naming them, had evinced interest to set up their manufacturing units there. The court found the reply evasive.
According to the information submitted by the state government, there was demand for only 35 acres of land and it was not a valid justification to acquire 1,069 acres of land in eight villages, he felt.
Justice Kumar observed, “You have acquired over 1,000 acres of land disturbing the lives of these land owners and drain `370 crore from the State exchequer without any basis. This sort of acquisition is due to arrogance of power. According to the normal procedure, the companies approach the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) and the board submits a proposal for the land acquisition based on the demand for government’s approval.
However, in this case, the State Government has directly told the KIADB to identify the land for acquisition.
This is a gross violation of statutory provisions, even a high level committee cannot violate the laws.” Justice Kumar further asked the State Government why Sections 28(2), 1(3) and 27 were simultaneously invoked to acquire the land under urgency clause though there was no urgency.
Expressing his displeasure over the submissions made by the State Government, Justice Kumar observed, “The annexures submitted by the State Government contain only the Supreme Court’s judgements, correspondence made between the government advocate and the principal secretary and some regulations. Nothing in these documents answers the questions raised by the court.” Mathekar-Un-Nissa has filed a writ petition challenging land acquisition. She contended that the government had acquired 12.5 acres of her land without notice.

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