GAIL: Madras HC seeks report on fixing guideline value

GAIL: Madras HC seeks report on fixing guideline value

The Madras High Court has directed the State government to file a status report by November 4 on the process of stipulating the guideline/market value of lands acquired for the gas pipeline project of the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), cutting across seven districts of Tamil Nadu to determine the compensation.

The first Bench of Chief Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice R. Mahadevan passed the order on a PIL petition moved by G. Mutharasi seeking implementation of the project.

When the petition came up for hearing, counsel for GAIL submitted that the Supreme Court through an order dated February 2 had permitted the State government to stipulate the guideline value/market value for determination of compensation to land owners.

In February, the State government approached the Supreme Court to stall the project claiming that the pipelines would affect the livelihood of about 5,500 small farmers.

It contended that “national interest” should not be at the cost of the lives and livelihood of a large number of poor farmers. The State also suggested that pipes should be aligned along the national highways and not through farm lands.

Green signal given

Rejecting the argument, the apex court gave green signal to GAIL. But the court held that land owners were entitled to additional 30 per cent of the amount determined towards compensation.

The State was also directed to re-work the value of lands in the seven districts as on January 1, 2016, so that GAIL could pay 10 per cent of the value as compensation and an additional 30 per cent of the amount so determined.

Now, GAIL wants the State to specify the rates without any delay, so that it could continue the process.

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