A CNN IBN snippet on the Bangalore Metro, justified monetary compensation plus expenses of relocation, to affected persons, on the ground that efficiency of the project will be impeded otherwise. I don't know if the CNN IBN, or the journalist concerned, or the MD of the Bangalore Metro Group, had at any point, thought about whether the media, the company, the Land Acquisition Officer needed to reason why a person's house, shop, livelihood must be eaten up. The TV capsule was geared towards reasoning how/when/ on what time schedule they must be engulfed, what mode of compensation mus be adopted, to shut their protesting mouths the fastest.
One of the more lasting memories of a law class back in law school, for me, was the one I which I was explained Eminent Domain. That we live within a grand democratic constitutional framework, which has in its skeletal framework, ingrained, a fundamental un-right- that this body of and, water, forest, minerals, everything- you have no right over any of it. In the constitutional law class, it almost sounded like as everyday a necessity of governance, as a law student considers the need that bureaucrats will determine pretty much everything about living the democracy-life- because it all makes, in an efficient kind of way.
And this story about the Bangalore Metro, hence, made sense (almost common sensical) in the same way "efficient" kinda way. Just like the state's sudden hunger for land, water, bauxite, air, space, roads, flyovers, airports all make sense. It is a grab in the interest of efficiency.
Whether the state must grab, is an irrelevant question today, the spotlight being on how the state can grab with least trouble. We were shown 'public interest' as the grand check against abuse of éminent domain' powers. Only 'public interest' would warrant such an inroad into democratic freedoms. And Industry, Power, Minerals, Roads, Ports, Flyovers, Metros are Public Interest. So there is really no issue there. In the way that we were taught that it all made sense. In the efficient kinda way.