Haramain Rail: Property owners seek bigger comp

Haramain Rail Station

Real estate owners have filed three lawsuits against the Transport Ministry’s land acquisition committee saying properties acquired for the Haramain Railway project are undervalued. They are demanding the properties be re-evaluated.

In another case, the court rejected a lawsuit brought by a 60-year-old woman seeking compensation for land acquired for the railway project because she did not possess the ownership deed.

The court has previously rejected another lawsuit brought by the woman against the ministry.

A legal expert advised the woman to seek compensation for a building that was demolished to make way for the project.

The general court has issued 250 ownership documents for citizens who did not possess property deeds to present to the authorities to receive compensation for buildings that were demolished for the railway project.

The administrative court in Jeddah has so far finalized 95 percent of cases related to compensation payment, with around 85 percent of verdicts issued by the court requiring the ministry to re-evaluate properties through a new committee.

The court insisted that previous committee members should not be included in the new committee to ensure unbiased evaluation.

The Transport Ministry is standing by the committee’s decision and said it included experts from relevant organizations and that the compensations given were fair. The ministry asked the court to reject the lawsuits.

An appeals court has upheld the verdicts that called on the ministry to re-evaluate properties, saying the compensations given were unfair.

It also advised the ministry to make use of the real estate evaluation expertise of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The plaintiffs told the court that the evaluation committee had not considered the rising value of real estate when calculating compensation for their properties.

A total of 3,500 properties in the Makkah region have been acquired for the ambitious railway project.


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