[ 2013 September 3 ]
The recently passed Land Acquisition Bill has completely ignored urban land acquisition and infrastructure development concerns.
The key features of the Land Bill are consent of landowners for acquiring land for private and PPP projects and compensation norms set at four and two times the market rate for rural and urban land respectively. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2012 is widely perceived to be necessary to get rid of an antiquated law which allowed governments to acquire increasingly scarce land for a pittance to be handed over to business houses to set up industries. The provisions of the Bill will be applicable in cases where land acquisition is 50 acres or more in urban areas or 100 acres or more in rural areas.
The Bill is a massive set-back for industrialisation and urbanisation of the country. The compensation for land acquisition will at least double in urban areas and will go up by four times in rural areas. Further, the clause of mandatory consent of 80% of the landowners for private projects, and mandatory consent of 70% of the landowners for public-private-partnership projects will delay the process of land acquisition, and the projects in turn.
The government has not considered urban scenario while approving the Bill. Cities will not be able to cope with rising population, satellite towns and nodes are necessary to meet the growing demand of migrant population. The people would travel to the city to work and return to their homes in these satellite nodes and townships. Getting land in fringes around city is going to be very expensive and difficult because of provisions in the Bill. The government should have made certain specific provisions for urban conglomerations.
The cost of land for industrial projects is going to be higher and will be a major part in the project cost. Already the Rail, Road, and Airports projects are delayed because of the land acquisition. We are afraid that these projects will be either further delayed or dropped because of high cost of land. It will have direct/indirect impact on city's economy and GDP.
- R.R. Balasundharam, President