Sunday, February 7, 2016


Alternative arrangements were made for more than100 passengers to reach their destination before the Harihar–Chitradurga–Bengaluru Passenger train was seizedon Thursday at the Chitradurga Railway Station.

Railways punished for failure to compensate farmers in stipulated time

Ever heard of a train being seized? That’s what happened owing to the failure of the Railways to compensate land-losers of a project.

In an unprecedented incident, the District Principal and Sessions Court ordered seizure of the Harihar–Chitradurga–Bengaluru Passenger (train no. 56520) for the failure of the Railways to pay Rs. 1 crore as compensation to 50 farmers for acquiring their land for a project. On Thursday, the train was seized at Chitradurga Railway Station.

There was much drama when, as per the court’s order, authorities came to the station and made alternative arrangements for more than 100 passengers to reach their destination before seizing the train.

Davangere Railway Protection Force inspector Gouram Gober and Railway Additional Divisional Engineer Ramesh Mallapur rushed to the spot and appealed to the authorities to release the train in the interest of passengers. They also approached the court seeking some more time to pay the compensation.

Released

After railway authorities filed an appeal later in the day, the court told them to complete settlement of the compensation in 45 days and released the train.

According to official sources, the Railways had acquired land for the Chitradurga–Rayadurga line in 1986 by paying a nominal compensation to the land-losers. But in 1991, the land-losers approached court seeking more compensation.

Some time ago, the court had instructed authorities to seize the train. In an appeal, the Railways sought two months to pay the compensation to farmers. When it failed to pay up in the stipulated time, the court ordered seizure of the train on January 25.

One of the litigant farmers, who did not wish to be named, said, “Even after facing several hardships, we have struggled to get suitable compensation and hope that the issue would be sorted out by the Railways as early as possible.”

Timeline

The Railways acquired land for Chitradurga–Rayadurga railway line project in 1986

Farmers approached court demanding more compensation in 1991 than what was awarded

The court orders granting more compensation in November 2015, and asks the Railways to disburse money within two months

On compensation not being paid, the court orders seizure of the train on January 25, 2015

The court authorities seize Harihar–Chitradurga– Benguluru train on February 4, 2016

The court gives another 45 days’ time for final settlement following an appeal

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