Rashid Paul

HC directs authorities to expedite pending compensation cases

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Road widening between Dalgate to Hazratbal…

Srinagar, Feb 12: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed the government to take steps for expeditious disposal of the pending compensation cases affecting the road widening project between Dalgate and Hazratbal.

The court directed “the official respondents shall move applications seeking expeditious disposal of cases in concerned courts” relating to disputes of land and other properties on the demarcated land for road widening project pending completion for the past 16 years.

The court directed the officials to file a status report about filing of the applications in the cases where these disputes are pending disposal over the years. The court directed that the information regarding the fate of these applications be filed by 18th of March.

The court perused a status report filed by the Collector Land Acquisition which informed the bench that several cases filed by the people affected by the road widening project were pending before the courts.

Majority of the cases according to the Collector’s report related to the amount of compensation awarded by the government for the demarcated assets coming under the road widening plan.

The court had in its previous hearing directed the Deputy Commissioner Srinagar to file an affidavit delineating specific details of the steps taken for acquisition, release of compensation and taking-over of possession of the required land as well as the status of the fund availability towards compensation which is payable to affected people.

The court also directed the Chief Engineer, PWD (R&B) Kashmir to set-out the dates with time-lines with regard to all the matters including approval of the proposal of road widening from Dalgate to Hazratbal Srinagar.

Hearing the petition, the court observed: “We have perused the status report filed by the Chief Engineer, PWD (R&B) Kashmir, in the matter. The same is hopelessly deficient and gives no dates as well.”

Pursuant to court’s order dated August 31, the Chief Engineer filed a report but the court found that no information was forthcoming from the acquiring authority.

“Instead, an affidavit has been filed by Sami Arif Yesvi, presently posted as Chief Engineer, PW(R&B) department, stating out certain steps regarding acquisition proceedings which commenced in the year 2009-10 giving only half baked information regarding acquisition proceedings,” observed the court.

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