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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

New land bill to make infra projects costlier

Surendra P Gangan , Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 06, 2013
First Published: 02:53 IST(6/9/2013) | Last Updated: 02:55 IST(6/9/2013)

The new land acquisition bill passed this week is likely to increase the cost of infrastructure, power and irrigation projects in the state at least eight-fold, making most of them unfeasible.

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The state government had, last year, told the Centre that the compensation for the landowner should be reduced to 200% of the market rate from the 400% proposed.

The government has been taking stock of the status of the projects in various sectors such as infrastructure, irrigation, housing, highways and power.

"The compensation cost for the acquisition of land for the Shai water supply project in Thane will now go up to Rs784.09 crore from the current Rs197.96 crore, under the new land acquisition bill. The compensation cost for Paras thermal power project will go up to Rs31.77 crore from Rs8.57 crore. The cost for one parcel for the Goshikhurd irrigation project will be Rs53.64 crore, from the current Rs15.74 crore," said an official from the revenue department, on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

While the compensation package will go up four-fold, other liabilities towards the land owners will increase the project cost at least eight-fold. "We fear that most of the projects will now become unviable," he said.

"The delay in the implementation of the irrigation projects will directly impact the production of food grain and subsequently the recently-introduced food security scheme. It will not mean much for states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where the irrigation percentage is more than 100. But the irrigation percentage in Maharashtra is 24, and the delay in irrigation projects would mean a lot," the officer said.

Another officer from the industries department said that the acquisition of land for the Navi Mumbai airport will be carried out under the new provisions.

"The compensation for the acquisition of land for the Jaitapur nuclear power project has been declared. The new act will not affect it," he said.


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