BENGALURU: Farmers in the vicinity of Bengaluru city are set for a windfall with the state government all set to implement the The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 in Karnataka.
“We are ready with new rules and regulations and the act will come into force from 2016,” said B Basavaraju, principal secretary, revenue department. The biggest beneficiaries would be those who own land in Bengaluru Urban and Rural districts, Bidadi (Ramanagaram) and parts of Chikkaballapur districts.
For instance, land owners near the Kempegowda International Airport will get Rs 40 crore per acre – four times the current market value. If the land is located in BBMP limits, the payoff could be bigger since an acre here cost not less than Rs 25 crore. The state government and the Centre have jointly proposed to acquire about 25,000 acres around Bengaluru, especially close to the KIA, for various projects including the 10,000 acre Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR).
With the Narendra Modi-led NDA government not able to make any headway in getting controversial amendments cleared in Parliament, the state government has decided to implement the act to send a message to investors ahead of of its much hyped Invest Karnataka 2016 event which seeks to tap global investors. “Since ordinances promulgated by the central government have lapsed, the government has initiated the process of implementing the act in Karnataka,” Basavaraju added.
Under the act, land owners should get up to four times the market value in rural areas and twice in urban areas. Chapter ii of the 2013 Act also makes it compulsory to carry out the Social Impact Analysis (SIA) for land acquisition for all projects and offer rehabilitation and resettlement scheme for displaced persons.
Given limited government resources, this also raises questions about financing projects and the time taken to acquire huge tracts of land mainly for road, irrigation and other infrastructure projects.
“The new act will not only make land acquisition an expensive proposition but also time consuming since the SIA alone requires about six months,” said Satish Poojar, a senior executive with an affordable housing project. Basavaraju, however, said the new act may also encourage farmers to give up their land not only because they will get good money but also because the government will take care of resettlement and rehabilitation issues.
Under the land acquisition act of 2013, the market value must be multiplied by a factor -one for urban areas and between one and two in rural areas -depending on the distance from an urban area. The value of any fixed asset would be added and this figure would be doubled as solatium (100% of market value). While the previous land acquisition act also had a solatium provision (30% of market value), the cost payable was determined by authorities like KIADB, PWD or BDA for land acquisition or based on negotiations with the land owner and taking into consideration the market value when the intention of acquiring was notified.