HC denies Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway Land Acquisition
ROADS & HIGHWAYS

HC denies Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway Land Acquisition

The acquisition of land by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the construction of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will proceed as the Punjab and Haryana High Court has denied interim relief to stop the process. The court is currently hearing a plea from 126 petitioners, led by Darshan Singh, who claim that their residential houses and other structures are being demolished without proper compensation.

The proposed Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway is a 669-kilometer, 4-lane access-controlled green field expressway with a budget of Rs 400 billion. It aims to reduce travel time between Delhi and Chandigarh to 2 hours and Delhi and Amritsar to 4 hours. Additionally, the expressway is planned to connect important Sikh religious sites, starting from Shri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar and culminating at the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra.

Representing the NHAI, Senior Advocate Chetan Mittal, along with Advocate Abhilaksh Gaind, argued that only one residential house belonging to Darshan Singh is affected by the project, with the main structure of the house located outside the project's alignment. The NHAI's counsels also stated that a supplementary award has been passed for the boundary wall in question, and a table detailing the claims made by the petitioners regarding other structures such as tube-wells and bore-wells has been provided to the court.

The petitioners' counsel countered that their clients were unaware of any supplementary award and had not received compensation for the demolition. They also raised other arguments challenging the land acquisition itself. In response, the NHAI's counsels informed the court that the petition is misleading and does not align with the factual position. They emphasized the national importance of the project and its potential positive impact on Punjab and neighboring states.

After considering the arguments from both sides regarding interim relief, the High Court firmly declined to grant any interim stay to halt the project at this stage. Justices Lisa Gill and Ritu Tagore, the division bench overseeing the case, stated in their order that no grounds were found to support granting interim relief to hinder the project.

The acquisition of land by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for the construction of the Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway will proceed as the Punjab and Haryana High Court has denied interim relief to stop the process. The court is currently hearing a plea from 126 petitioners, led by Darshan Singh, who claim that their residential houses and other structures are being demolished without proper compensation. The proposed Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway is a 669-kilometer, 4-lane access-controlled green field expressway with a budget of Rs 400 billion. It aims to reduce travel time between Delhi and Chandigarh to 2 hours and Delhi and Amritsar to 4 hours. Additionally, the expressway is planned to connect important Sikh religious sites, starting from Shri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar and culminating at the holy shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi in Katra. Representing the NHAI, Senior Advocate Chetan Mittal, along with Advocate Abhilaksh Gaind, argued that only one residential house belonging to Darshan Singh is affected by the project, with the main structure of the house located outside the project's alignment. The NHAI's counsels also stated that a supplementary award has been passed for the boundary wall in question, and a table detailing the claims made by the petitioners regarding other structures such as tube-wells and bore-wells has been provided to the court. The petitioners' counsel countered that their clients were unaware of any supplementary award and had not received compensation for the demolition. They also raised other arguments challenging the land acquisition itself. In response, the NHAI's counsels informed the court that the petition is misleading and does not align with the factual position. They emphasized the national importance of the project and its potential positive impact on Punjab and neighboring states. After considering the arguments from both sides regarding interim relief, the High Court firmly declined to grant any interim stay to halt the project at this stage. Justices Lisa Gill and Ritu Tagore, the division bench overseeing the case, stated in their order that no grounds were found to support granting interim relief to hinder the project.

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