Furniture, equipment of forest dept seized

Court order regarding compensation for land acquired for Ranganathittu sanctuary

Following a court order in connection with payment of compensation for acquired farmland, furniture and office equipment of the Forest Department were seized from the Aranya Bhavan here on Monday.

When the Forest Department officials objected to the seizure, the court officials and the farmers picked an argument. Police officials had to intervene and facilitate the seizure process.

For the expansion of Ranganathittu bird sanctuary in Srirangapatna taluk in Mandya district, the Forest Department had acquired 3.10 acres of land in 1966, 3.16 acres in 1977, 4.21 acres in 2001 and 3.20 acres in 2008.

The farmers — Muniswamy, E Gopalakrishna, E Umesh, N Savitha, V Manjunath and Ramesh of Palahalli — had appealed before the court in 2008, challenging the compensation amount paid for their lands.

Additional amount
The Judicial Magistrate First Class had ruled that the Forest Department should pay a compensation of Rs 75 per square feet against the earlier paid compensation of Rs 35. So, the Forest Department should pay an additional Rs 1.76 crore to the farmers, as per the court order. As the Forest Department did not respond positively to the communication of the court order. The court, in an order on July 24, directed the seizure of furniture and office equipment.

When the seizure order was presented by court, Amins B Sundaresh, Shahid Khasim and N R Thyagaraj to Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) K Kamala, the officials resisted the court action. The DCF sought more time for payment of pending compensation. This led to friction between the officials. Ashokapuram police, who were present, summoned additional force and Inspector Krishnappa facilitated the process.

Speaking to mediapersons, later, DCF Kamala said the compensation to the farmers has been disbursed as per the rate fixed by the Assistant Commissioner during the land acquisition. “The court order for additional compensation has been brought to the notice of the State government. The issue has also been communicated to the farmers,” she said.
 

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