Hyderabad/Khammam: Justice K Lakshman of the Telangana High Court directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) not to dispossess farmers from their lands for the Greenfield Highway. The judge issued the interim order while taking on file a writ petition questioning the acquisition of lands under a notification issued in September 2019.
The petitioners contended that the project was being taken up without environmental clearance and without approval as mandated under the law relating to National Highways.
Allisetty Lakshminarayana, NHAI counsel, informed the court that as of now, there was no immediate threat of dispossession of the petitioners of their lands.
Meanwhile, Greenfield Highway Affected Farmers JAC leader K Rajashekhar Reddy informed the media on Tuesday that the court issued the orders after hearing the writ petition submitted before the court by 27 farmers.
The farmers belong to Vemsoor, Sathupalli, Tallada, Konijerla, Khammam rural and Kallur mandals in Khammam. They raised objections against alleged unilateral land acquisition by the authorities for the proposed 167 km highway from Ponnekal in Khammam to Devarapalli in AP.
The Secretary, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Director of Impact Assessment Division of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, the Project Director of NHAI, District Revenue Officer and Additional Collector/ Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CALA) were the respondents in the case, he said.
The counsel for petitioners told the court that the authorities concerned were going ahead with the land acquisition process without obtaining environmental clearance and approval as mandated under Section 3D of the National Highways Authority Act, 1956.
The court posted the matter to Feb 23 for hearing, Rajashekhar Reddy added.
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