14 Sep 2012 4:14 PM from CapEx
Nidhi Bhati

Land acquisition order for GVK’s road project quashed

The 330 km stretch connects Shivpuri to Dewas in MP

The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court has quashed the land acquisition done by the National High Authority of India (NHAI) to four lane GVK Shivpuri Dewas Expressway Pvt Ltd's Shivpuri-Dewas road project. Around 2,000 hectares is required for the project. Of which, 1,100 hectares was available and remaining 900 hectares was to be acquired.

The 330.31 km stretch between Shivpuri and Dewas passes through the six districts with 290 villages, viz, Shivpuri, Guna, Rajgarh, Shajapur, Ujjain and Dewas (Shivpuri District - 34 villages, Guna District - 87 villages, Rajgarh District - 110 villages, Shajapur District - 29 villages, Ujjain District - 11 villages and Dewas District - 15 villages).

Ten land owners affected by the land acquisition done for the project filed a case against NHAI for acquiring 900 acres in these 290 villages. They claimed that a notification under section 3-D was issued in July 2012 without any proper hearing. According to NHAI Act, a 3-D notification, when published in the Official Gazette, means that the land specified in the Schedule will vest absolutely in the Central Government free from all encumbrances. As per the petitioners, objections related to the acquisition were rejected without any hearing.

Passing the order, Justice S C Sharma anulled the 3-D notification of NHAI stating that the authority did not comply with the procedure prescribed under Section 3-C (hearing of objections to acquisition) before acquiring land. Court has now ordered for a fresh hearing of the objections in accordance with the NHAI Act.

GVK Shivpuri Dewas Expressway had signed a concession agreement with NHAI on 12 January 2012 to four lane Shivpuri Dewas section of National Highway No 3 (from 236 km to 566 km). The Rs.32 billion project is to be executed on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Toll basis on Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer pattern under National Highways Development Programme (NHDP) phase IV. The concession period for the project is of 30 years including construction period of 30 months.

GVK awarded a Rs.7 billion contract to KNR Constructions Ltd in January 2012 and another Rs.19 billion contract to L&T Construction in February 2012. The scope of the contract includes four laning the Shivpuri-Dewas road project on design, engineering, procurement and construction basis.