Varghese Kalliath, J.
1. L.A.A. No. 87 of 1979 is an appeal by the Government against the judgment in L.A.R. No. 11 of 1976 on the file of the Subordinate Judge's Court, Trivandrum.
2. An extent of 48.90 acres of land in Sy. Nos. 385/5-1-2 and 384/4-1-2 of Kottukal Village was acquired for the Kovalam Tourist Development Centre. The Land Acquisition Officer valued the land at the rate of Rs. 1,125 per Ar. The claimants were not satisfied with the award. They caused a reference under Section 20 of the Land Acquisition Act. Before court they claimed a compensation at the rate of Rs. 1,500/- per cent. The court below after considering the evidence in the case fixed the land value at Rs. 1,875/- per Ar. The State has challenged the decree of the court below. The claimants are also not satisfied with the enhancement granted by the trial court. They have filed cross-objections.
3. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the claimants that the cross-objection relates only to an extent of 42.70 Ars. belonged to claimant No. 2 and legal representatives of claimant No. I. In the cross-objection, the claimants claim compensation at the rate of Rs. 2,470/- per Ar.
4. We propose to deal with the cross-objection first since we feel that the cross-objection has to be allowed partly and in that event the State appeal is only to be dismissed.
5. The trial court relied on Ext. A1 for fixing the compensation. Ext. A1 is a judgment in LAR 71 of 1976. As per Ext. A1, the compensation was fixed at the rate of Rs. 1,870/-. The judgment in LAR No. 71 of 1976 was challenged in appeal in LAA No. 52 of 1979 before this court and this court reduced the compensation by fixing it at Rs. 1,745/- per Ar. instead of Rs. 1,870/- fixed by the trial court. The Government contends that since there was a reduction of the rate fixed in LAR No. 71 of 1976 and when the court below has relied on the Judgment in LAR No. 71 of 1976. For fixing the compensation payable to the claimants in this case, naturally a reduction effected by this court also should be given effect to in fixing the compensation in this case. The learned Government Pleader submits that the compensation has to he fixed only at the rate of Rs. 1,74V- per Are.
6. Ext. A2 is an award in LA cases Nos. 51/75, 53/75, 64/75 and 91 of 76 of the Deputy Collector, Trivandrum. The Deputy Collector has awarded Rs. 2,470/-per Ar in LA Case 51/75. The land involved in Land Acquisition Case 51/75 is in Sy. No. 383/8. The property acquired in this case, as stated earlier, is in Sy. Nos. 383/5-1-2 and 383/4-1-2. It is in evidence that the property acquired in LA Case 51/75 is an adjoining property of the property acquired in this case. The learned counsel Shri. P. Sukumaran Nair argues that Ext. A2 (LA Case 51/75) property can be compared better with the acquired property, than the property covered by Ex. A1. The learned counsel submits that the claimants are entitled to a compensation fixed at the rate of Rs. 2,470A per Ar. The value of the land was fixed in LA 51/75 mainly on the basis that the land has got road frontage to the beach road. The classification of acquired lands for the purpose of valuing it was made on the basis of the crucial fact whether the land has got road frontage to the beach road or only a Panchayat road approach. The lands having beach road frontage were valued at Rs. 2,470/- per Ar. The land acquired in this case also has got beach road frontage. The notification in LA Case No. 51/75 was on 15-2-1973. In this case, the notification was on 7-2-1972. The land covered by LA Case 51/75 is more or fess in a junction though the value has been determined on the fact that it has got road frontage to the beach road. The acquired land in this case also has got road frontage to the beach road. It is very near to the land involved in LA Case 51/75. It has to be remembered that the value claimed is on the basis of the Collector's award. The award has to be treated as a valuation made by the State itself. It is in the nature of an admission on behalf of the State with regard to the value of the land involved in that case. Awards given by Collectors are certainly material ad rem of ascertaining the land value of comparable properties. We cannot reject the award passed by the Collector with regard to an adjoining property as an inadmissible item of evidence. The rates found in such awards would be dependable, and unhazardous material, to afford a stereobate to work upon for determination of compensation. This is our view. It has the support of the decision reported in State of Madras v. A. M. Nanjan AIR 1976 SC 651.
We are satisfied after a careful evaluation of the evidence and the documents, and having regard to the location and advantages and facilities of the land, that the compensation awarded to the claimants at the rate of Rs. 1,875/- is inadequate. We fix the land value at the rate of Rs. 2,200/- per Ar.
In the result, the claimants are entitled to an enhanced compensation for 42-70 acres at the rate of Rs. 2,200/- with usual solatium and interest less what has been received by the claimants. We have allowed the cross-objection enhancing the compensation awarded by the Court below. There is no merit in the appeal filed by the Government and the appeal is dismissed. Both parties are directed to bear their respective costs.