SilverLine: Protestors raise concern over compensation announced for rural areas

Thiruvananthapuram: The major hurdle for the state government is over the concern raised by the protestors over the conditions for determining compensation for land acquired for K-Rail. According to the protestors, the owners of the land acquired for the project are unlikely to receive the compensation assured by the state government based on the existing land acquisition act.

The land acquired for the K-Rail project is in accordance with the provisions in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. According to the act, rural areas are those that are located at a distance of 40 km from cities. The protestors pointed out that many rural areas concerning the project are located in close proximity to the cities.

While calculating compensation for people in rural areas, the final amount will be fixed based on the value of the land transaction in that area. It is assumed that this amount would be four times higher than the existing price. The price of properties and lands are fixed at twice its existing price with a 12 per cent increase per annum.

If the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act are complied with, the number of rural areas in Kerala, which is close to urban areas, will be reduced. Observing this, the protestors noted that, the number of people receiving compensation in rural areas will be very low. In cities, the owners of land acquired for projects receive twice the value of land, properties and trees.

The protestors also alleged that it is unlikely that the people in the city will receive compensation even if prices are set based on recent sales.

According to the DPR, 10,347 buildings will be affected by the Silver Line. Of this, 10% of buildings can be maintained by building walls. However, 9,314 buildings are to be completely demolished for the project. The compensation for 3,930 buildings in rural areas is estimated at Rs 1,572 crore. This amount is to be paid at the base price of Rs 10 lakhs for an average building of 1000 square feet.

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