High Court wants govt to submit notifications

On the issue of auctioning the surplus land held by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authorities near the Kona Expressway...

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:July 11, 2009 3:07 am

On the issue of auctioning the surplus land held by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authorities (KMDA) near the Kona Expressway,the Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the state government to submit the two notifications related to the handing over of the land of the expressway to the National High Way Authority of India (NHAI) for expansion work.

In January 2006,the state government had issued a notification handing over the expressway land to the NHAI for carrying out expansion work. The government wanted it to be expanded to six-lane from four-lane expressway.

Later,the NHAI returned the land to the state government in September 2008 — as cited by the KMDA counsel Pratap Chatterjee in the court on Friday — after dropping the proposal to widen the expressway.

The case dates back to July 2008 when Howrah District Shalimar Lorry and Tempo Association filed a PIL in the High Court alleging that KMDA has decided to auction the land acquired for the Kona Expressway — which connects Vidyasagar Setu with Bombay Road.

The association had cited the January 2008 notification of the KMDA in which it had announced the sale of land followed by invitation of bids for setting up a commercial complex in a 18-acre plot in June 2008.

Following this,the High Court had stayed the sale proceedings of the land. It,however,had said that the state government could continue with the paperwork required for selling the land.

On Friday,Shaktinath Mukherjee,counsel of the association,told the Division Bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder that the expressway should be widened to eight lanes as it becomes congested during the peak hours.

He also contended that the acquired land should be utilised for the expansion work. In its petition,the association had said that the NHAI had demanded land from the KMDA to set up a green corridor along the expressway but it was turned down.

The next hearing will take place on July 24.

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