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President Approves Land Acqusition Ordinance Again
Jun 03, 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee has approved the land ordinance (Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015), which was cleared by the Cabinet on 30 May for the third time after the government failed to convert it into law during the recently concluded Budget Session of Parliament.

  • Changes in the provisions of the Act will facilitate farmers to get better compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement benefits in lieu of land compulsorily acquired by the appropriate Government. 

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013 came into effect from January 1, 2014. However, it has been reported that many difficulties are being faced in the implementation of the Act. In addition, procedural difficulties in the acquisition of lands required for important national projects required to be mitigated.

In order to remove them, certain amendments were made in the Act while further strengthening the provisions to protect the interests of the 'affected families'. In view of the urgency, these were brought about by an Ordinance on December 31, 2014. Subsequently, on March 10, 2015 the Lok Sabha passed the Amendment Bill to replace the Ordinance. The Amendment Bill passed by the Lok Sabha includes some further changes to the Ordinance.

Important Changes

Compensation in accordance with the First Schedule and rehabilitation and resettlement specified in the Second and Third Schedules of the Act are extended to the 13 Acts mentioned in the Fourth Schedule of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation & Resettlement Act, 2013:

(1) The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958

(2) The Atomic Energy Act, 1962

(3) The Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948

(4) The Indian Tramways Act, 1886

(5) The Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885

(6) The Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978

(7) The National Highways Act, 1956

(8) The Petroleum and Minerals Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Act, 1962

(9) The Requisitioning and Acquisition of Immovable Property Act, 1952

(10) The Resettlement of Displaced Persons (Land Acquisition) Act, 1948

(11) The Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, 1957

(12) The Electricity Act, 2003

(13) The Railways Act, 1989 

In order to expedite the process of land acquisition for strategic and development activities such as…

♦ National security or defence of India including preparation for defence and defence production;

♦ Rural infrastructure including electrification;
 
♦ Affordable housing and housing for poor;

♦ Industrial corridors set up by the appropriate government and its undertakings (in which case the land shall be acquired up to 1 km on both sides of the designated railway line or roads for such industrial corridors);

♦ Infrastructure projects including projects under public private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government, appropriate governments are empowered to take steps for exemption from Social Impact Assessment and Special Provisions for Safeguarding Food Security.

Acquisitions for such projects are exempted from the Consent provisions of the Act as well. However, the appropriate governments are required to ensure that the extent of land for the proposed acquisition is the bare minimum land required for the project. The appropriate government is also required to undertake a survey of wastelands including arid land and maintain a record detailing the same. 


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