IT Park Phase III: ‘To sell or not to sell’ question stares at land owners
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The quashing of the land acquisition for Phase III of the IT Park by the Supreme Court might lead to a windfall for the land owners. Those interested in buying property are approaching the landowners who had accepted the compensation and are now in a quandary after the quashing of the acquisition. Property dealers, among others, have offered to buy them out in case the administration demands back the compensation amount.
While a large number of landowners were fighting court cases against the acquisition of land, there were 35 who had accepted the compensation. These 35 find uncertainty staring at their faces. With many of them having spent the money over the years, they are not sure about how they would return the money in case the administration decides to ask for it.
President of Chandigarh Sanjha Morcha Brig K S Kahlon (Retd), who was instrumental in pursuing the court case that finally led to quashing of the acquisition, says, "A number of people have expressed interest in buying the land. The actual price of the land is in crores while the administration had offered Rs 18.75 lakh an acre. The landowners who had accepted compensation have already spent it and would otherwise find it difficult to return the money," said Brig Kahlon.
Among those who accepted the compensation was the family of Sukhwinder Singh. One and a half acre of their land was acquired. He says, "Initially, we pursued the case against acquisition. After the verdict of the High Court, we gave up hope and accepted the compensation. The administration has already harassed the landowners for many years. If they ask us to return the compensation, that would not be possible."
There are some joint families where the compensation amount was divided among the members. To seek the money from all of them would be a problem. Some of the families who accepted compensation had filed an appeal in the court seeking enhancement of the compensation amount.
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