New land act is wast­ing public money says DDA vice-chair­per­son

Accommodation Times - - Legal -

The new land ac­qui­si­tion act is po­ten­tially block­ing au­thor­ity pro­jects and wast­ing public money, DDA vice-chair­per­son said in a let­ter to the ur­ban devel­op­ment min­istry, seek­ing ex­emp­tion from the act.

The act — Right to Fair Com­pen­sa­tion and Trans­parency in Land Ac­qui­si­tion, Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and Re­set­tle­ment Act, 2013 — came in force at the be­gin­ning of this year and has put the au­thor­ity in a "spe­cially dis­ad­van­ta­geous" po­si­tion, said the vice-chair­per­son, Balvin­der Ku­mar. Ac­cord­ing to Ku­mar, ac­qui­si­tions have be­come very dif­fi­cult and ex­pen­sive un­der the new act.

It has also in­creased the cost of ac­qui­si­tion, which when added to the cost of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and re­set­tle­ment, raises the dis­posal cost of land and houses to an " as­tro­nom­i­cally high" level which is be­yond the reach of lower and mid­dle classes, he added.

"DDA and the public will lose thou­sands of crores worth of land if cer­tain pro­vi­sions of this act are not amended," Ku­mar said, point­ing to the sub-sec­tion 2 of Sec­tion 24 of the act. Ac- cord­ing to this sec­tion if af­ter ac­quir­ing the land the au­thor­ity does not take own­er­ship or the land owner doesn’t get com­pen­sated even af­ter 5 years the whole ac­qui­si­tion gets lapsed.

The act pro­vides for pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion on cur­rent mar­ket rates in ur­ban ar­eas and twice that amount in ru­ral ar­eas. The act also man­dates a so­cial im­pact study of the pro­posed project for which land is planned to be ac­quired.

"The spirit of the act is ap­pre­cia­ble in the ac­qui­si­tion of large pock­ets of land, of say 500 acres or more. But if we have to con­duct so­cial im­pact stud­ies in ac­qui­si­tions of smaller ac­qui­si­tions, such as ly­ing of road or con­struc­tion of sewage treat­ment plants. It will take us years to build roads or lay un­der­ground pipe­lines.

Balvin­der Ku­mar Vice Chair­man, DDA

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