Draft land bill has UP officials worried | india | Hindustan Times
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Draft land bill has UP officials worried

india Updated: Aug 01, 2011 01:53 IST
HT Correspondent

State government officials feel the draft Land Acquisition and Resettlement and Rehabilitation (LARR) Bill 2011, if turned into law, will affect several projects proposed in the Greater Noida-Yamuna Expressway region.

"The draft says multi-crop and irrigated land can't be acquired. The compensation proposed is also higher compared to the prevailing rates in the state. This will, of course, create shortage of land and make property costlier. But we apprehend some of the major projects will be hit," a senior official said.

"The Centre's draft says urgency clause - not hearing farmers' objections - can be imposed only in case of national defence or security matters or when rehabilitation is required in times of natural calamities. Once this draft becomes a law, the state government can't use the urgency clause for what has frequently been termed forcible acquisition," he said.

The state government had planned big-time land acquisition in the region. Though there are already judicial and political pressures, besides farmers' agitations, the government will not be able to impose the urgency clause even if it wants.

"With courts terming land acquisition using urgency clauses of the Land Acquisition Act illegal, we have already started lifting urgency clauses imposed in many villages of the Yamuna Expressway," said another official.

Reacting to the Centre's draft, which says there will be no government acquisition for private companies for private purpose, another senior official, however, said, "The government never acquires land for builders. It acquires land for its development authorities. These authorities, as per their masterplans, allocate plots to different players."

"If the Greater Noida Authority allots a certain percentage of the acquired land to builders, it is part of the concept of planned industrial development," he added.

He said some of the central draft's "pro-farmer and pro-development" aspects have already been incorporated in Uttar Pradesh's new land acquisition and rehabilitation policy announced after May 7 Bhatta-Parsaul violence. Like the Centre' draft, UP's new policy says all private builders and purchasers need to deal with farmers directly. However, this is not applicable to industrial townships such as Noida and Greater Noida.