Madurai: Observing that payment of compensation for erecting towers was not a formality but a mandatory, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today directed the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board to give compensation to the land owners for erecting high tension electrical towers in their lands.
Justice R Mahadevan, disposing a batch of petitions, said once electrical lines are drawn, the space cannot be used for any other purpose and there is provision for payment of compensation in rules.
The deprivation of land is a continuous loss and the petitioners are entitled for compensation. When any objection is raised the matter has to be referred to the district Magistrate who has to conduct an inquiry and pass orders.
He directed the District Magistrate to hear both the parties and pass orders in accordance with law and in case the District Magistrate decided against the petitioners, they are entitled to get compensation through court.
The petitioners including Velusamy and Rajalakshmi said they owned lands in Karur and Virudhunagar districts. The TNEB wanted to put up towers. But they objected. They said due to erection of towers, the fertility of the land had been lost. The transmission was for private purpose and not in public interest and demanded compensation.
The TNEB contended that the towers were erected purely for public purpose and 95 per cent of the work had been completed.
It was not mandatory to give notice to the land owners for laying the high tension power line and it was for the district Collector to look into the issue of compensation, they maintained.