New Delhi Jan 13: The Defence Ministry has released Rs 377 crore to Karnataka state authorities to pay compensation for the land owners at Karwar, who parted with their properties for the naval base. The payment in respect of at least 12 more cases would be released by January 31.
The decision comes within weeks of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visit to the naval base on December 28 when she met the former land owners, who appraised her of the pending cases and the delay in payment of compensation. The minister had promised fast-track clearance of the cases.
"This amount has already been deposited with SLAO, Karwar for onward disbursal to land owners through the execution courts," said the Defence Ministry statement.
Between 1988 and 2000, the central government acquired around 2,412 acres of private land in 13 villages of Karwar and Ankola taluks to set up the naval base. At the time of acquisition, land owners were paid Rs 22.55 crore as compensation.
Unsatisfied, the land owners moved the court for an enhanced compensation package.
The court enhanced the compensation package to Rs 4.60 lakh per acre, which was later confirmed by the Supreme Court in September 2012. Accordingly, the Defence Ministry released Rs 377.12 crore as enhanced compensation in 997 such cases till date from 2004-05.
In the remaining cases, the ministry would be clearing the proposals by February 2018, subject to the competent authorities giving necessary clearance at the state level.
Karwar naval base: Centre releases Rs 377 crore compensation