With the opposition bent on stalling the land acquisition amendment bill in Rajya Sabha, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project will get delayed further, experts said.
The project was stuck due to delay in passing of the bill with a section of farmers unwilling to part with their land.
The bill to amend the Land Acquisition Act 2013 is expected to make it easier for MP government to acquire land for the DMIC project. Once the amendments are carried out, five new categories of projects including industrial corridors would not require prior consent from affected families.
While the compensation will remain high and rehabilitation and resettlement will be followed, the procedure for acquiring land for these projects will become easier due to omission of steps like social impact assessment and consent of 70% land owners, experts said.
"Land acquisition is necessary for development and any hurdles could be suicidal," Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari said.
"Dependency of 70% population on agriculture is not good for the country as many farmers with large families also face the problem of unemployment. The need of the hour is to mechanise agriculture and provide employment to farmers' relatives to speed up economic growth and increase per capita income," he said.
"Restriction on buying land is one of the major hurdles that are holding up the DMIC project. We need 1,000 to 1,500 hectare land for the project. Though the government owns a portion of the land, the acquisition can't be completed without private land," a senior official of the state industry department said. A major problem is that at some places, the government and private lands are adjacent to each other.
When the land acquisition for the proposed industrial corridor had begun in 2010-11, the MP government was depending on the outmoded Land Acquisition Act of 1894 to acquire the land. However, the whole process has been moving at a snail's pace after the Land Acquisition Act of 2013 came into effect.
However, farmers' association is against forcible acquisition of land. Kisan Sangarsh Samiti office-bearer Babusingh Patel said that the farmers must get fair compensation for their land and land should not be acquired forcibly. The organisation is fighting against the government's ongoing land acquisition in Dhar district for DMIC project.
The union government has already approved financial assistance for the development of the DMIC industrial corridor in the first phase. However, the responsibility of land acquisition lies with the state government. The proposed 22km-long and 300m-wide economic corridor traverses through Indore, Mhow and Depalpur tehsils of Indore district and Dhar tehsil.
The Lok Sabha, where Modi government has a big majority, has passed the bill by voice vote. However, the bill is unlikely to get passed in Rajya Sabha where the NDA is in minority.