Need to make land ac­qui­si­tion rules fair, uni­form

Farm­ers against any change in com­pen­sa­tion

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Van­dana Ram­nani

Teekam Singh, of Kisan Sang­harsh Samiti (KSS), an um­brella body of farm­ers seek­ing more com­pen­sa­tion for their land in Noida Ex­ten­sion, is a happy man to­day and says that the pro­vi­sion that calls for seek­ing per­mis­sion from 70% farm­ers for ac­qu­si­tion of land should not be re­duced even to 50%. Also, cir­cle rates vary from vil­lage to vil­lage. To en­sure that there is some kind of uni­for­mity and that farm­ers do not feel that their neigh­bours are get­ting more com­pen­sa­tion, a me­dian rate should be ar­rived at and com­pen­sa­tion granted ac­cord­ingly.

Com­man­der (re­tired) Ram Singh Ya­dav, pres­i­dent of Kisan Sansh, Maukalwaas vil­lage, Mane­sar, says that there should be no amend­ment to re­duce com­pen­sa­tion as very of­ten farm­ers whose land is taken away are not given jobs in fac­to­ries that are set up in the area.

Gu­lam Zia, executive director - ad­vi­sory, re­tail and hos­pi­tal­ity, Knight Frank In­dia, is of the view that com­pen­sa­tion given to farm­ers should not spill over for over a decade but should be a one-time pay­ment. If a fac­tory is set up on a piece of land that is ac­quired from farm­ers and the price of the area goes up be­cause of de­vel­op­ment, it is the owner who pays com­pen­sa­tion to the farm­ers for more than 10 years from his own pocket rather than sell­ing the land. The in­creased value of land in this case is no­tional. On an av­er­age, the price of agri­cul­tural land is around 3 lakh to 4 lakh per acre and once de­vel­op­ment hap­pens, it can go up to a cou­ple of crores. A proper com­pen­sa­tion for­mula needs to be worked out as cur­rently it is skewed in favour of land sellers. Shar­ing the up­side with the seller for an ex­tended pe­riod should be done away with and should not be kept open-ended for the farm­ers, he adds.

Un­til and un­less the is­sue of com­pen­sa­tion at mar­ket value is ad­dressed, it will be dif­fi­cult to ac­quire land fast and at a nom­i­nal price to achieve the ob­jec­tive of Hous­ing For All by 2020. How can you achieve the ob­jec­tive of af­ford­able hous­ing if the land price is dou­ble? In the case of private de­vel­op­ments, too, most builders are find­ing it dif­fi­cult to buy land be­cause farm­ers are now re­fus­ing to sell. Their con­tention is that they would rather wait for the gov­ern­ment to ac­quire their land and pay them four times or two times the amount as the case may be, than sell land di­rectly to the builder, says Dr PSN Rao, head of hous­ing, School of Plan­ning and Ar­chi­tec­ture.

There are some ex­perts who feel oth­er­wise. S K Pal, Supreme Court lawyer, points out that get­ting per­mis­sion from 70% to 80% farm­ers does not mean that the state may have to approach 70 or 80 farm­ers. A tract of 100 acres may be owned by four farm­ers which means that you re­quire ap­proval of only three farm­ers and not 70 farm­ers. And if more than 50% farm­ers can be per­suaded by the dis­trict mag­is­trate or the land of­fi­cer to sell their land at a cer­tain price, he can ne­go­ti­ate with the re­main­ing farm­ers and ar­rive at a me­dian rate so that land can be ac­quired fast. Am­bi­ence Group has launched two lux­ury hous­ing projects - Am­bi­ence Tiver­ton and Am­bi­ence Crea­cions in the af­ford­able lux­ury seg­ment. The projects are spread across three­and-a-half acres and 14.5 acres re­spec­tively and of­fer air-con­di­tioned con­do­mini­ums de­liv­ered in a ready-to-live in con­di­tion. Ac­cord­ing to a spokesper­son, Am­bi­ence Group is geared to set new stan­dards in lux­ury living at an af­ford­able price. Am­bi­ence Tiver­ton lo­cated in Sec­tor 50, Noida of­fers 3/4 BHK apart­ments. There will be a to­tal of over 280 apart­ments. The cost of the pro­ject will be around ₹ 465 crore and is likely to be fi­nanced through in­ter­nal funds and pro­ject loans from banks. Am­bi­ence Crea­cions of­fers 3/4 BHK apart­ments in Sec­tor 22, Gur­gaon. There will be over 750 apart­ments. The cost of the pro­ject will be around ₹ 1480 crore.

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