M'loreans too refuse to part land for pipeline project

They flay HPCL for acquiring villagers’ property by offering meagre 10 pc of guidance value as compensation .

The district administration’s yet another effort to convince the land owners for providing their land for laying HPCL’s LPG pipeline from Mangalore to Bangalore, turned futile, with majority of the land owners from Mangalore taluk refusing to give away their land for the purpose.

As the previous two meetings convened by the district administration too did not result in consensus, the deputy commissioner had called for one ‘last’ meeting with the land owners at his office on Thursday. The land owners did not budge to the district administration’s attempt to negotiate the compensation amount, rather they walked out of the meeting even before the DC proposed the compensation.

Land owners from Gurupur, Maravoor and surrounding villages firmly opposed the HPCL’s attempt to acquire land under the Petroleum and Minerals Pipeline (Acquisition of Rights of User in Land) Act. Flaying the HPCL for acquiring villagers property by offering meagre 10 per cent of the guidance value as compensation, that allows the HPCL the right of user in land, the land owners asked the district administration either to fully acquire the land under the new Land Acquisition Act or not to acquire it at all.

Land owner from Gurupur, Krishnaprasad Rai said there are possibilities of five pipelines being laid in his property. “Petronet pipeline already runs through my property and notices have been served for acquiring land for laying pipelines for HPCL, GAIL and Relogistics. Recently a survey has been conducted by yet another company for laying pipeline in my land. How can we lead a normal life amidst these pipelines?” he asked.

Land owners raised apprehensions over the safety aspect due to laying of multiple pipelines. In reply, the HPCL officer clarified that safety and risk assessment was done by NEERI and the pipeline will be laid by keeping all safety mechanisms in place. Krishnaprasad Rai said the market rate of one acre land in Adyapady is Rs 25 lakh, while the government’s guidance value is Rs 25,000. “We can neither use the acquired portion nor sell it,” he complained.

Ismail from Malali criticised the HPCL personnel for ill-treating and misguiding villagers. “In the absence of men at home, the company workers visited our property, threatened my family and began the work without my permission,” he alleged.

Project to be implemented

Chairing the meeting, Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim said that the government projects like laying of pipeline for HPCL does not require the consent of land owners. “The land has been already notified and it is not in the hands of the district administration to withdraw the project. All that we can assure is, the errors that were committed in the previous project (Petronet pipeline) will not be repeated and maximum safety measures will be taken to avoid disasters. The pipeline will not pass through any structures,” he said.

Later, speaking to mediapersons the DC said that he has proposed to give a compensation of six times of the guidance value. So far, the highest compensation offered for HPCL project in the State is in Hassan which is four times of the guidance value. Considering the population and land value, we have decided to fix a compensation of six times of guidance value in Mangalore taluk and five times of the guidance value in Belthangady taluk, he said.

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