Haryana passes bill allowing compulsory land acquisition

[] The Haryana government can now compulsorily take possession of the land of an unwilling owner, for a government project where 70 per cent of the land has already been acquired, by exchanging his plot with another piece or suitably compensating him

The Haryana Consolidation of Project Land (Special Provision) Bill, 2017 was passed by the state assembly, even as opposition parties Congress and INLD staged a walkout, accusing the BJP-led government of giving ‘undue advantage’ to private players.

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The bill says: “Where the state government or any agency owns or has purchased 70 per cent or more of the total project, in a particular area falling in one or more revenue estates and the remaining is left out pockets of private land, the state government may consolidate the total project land, to ensure the viability of such project.”

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As per the statement of objects of the bill, “The projects are sometimes held up, because a few landowners are not willing to sell their lands. In such cases, it may be necessary to compulsorily exchange some of the land so purchased for the project, or to suitably compensate the owners of the left out pieces of land.” The bill also says, “No civil court shall have any jurisdiction to entertain or decide any question relating to matters falling under this Act.”

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The competent authority shall take over the left out pockets of private land and shall disburse the compensation, or hand over possession of the land in lieu thereof, to the person to which he is entitled, under the final consolidation scheme, in such manner as may be prescribed, the bill said. After the bill was tabled, the opposition benches led by the Congress, raised questions over the intention of the state government in bringing the bill and accused it of giving ‘undue advantage’ to private players.

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Congress MLA Kiran Choudhry later alleged that “The provisions under this bill, were such that the law was brought to give advantage to private people. The state government will also be able to exchange the high priced land of any government department for any project under this bill. When we demanded clarification, the government refused to give the same.”

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, however, rubbished the charges of the opposition parties and said there was no question of giving high-priced land, in exchange for low-value holdings under the bill. Khattar asserted that the government would buy land from land owners, only through negotiations.

“If any farmer, whose land falls in an area earmarked for a proposed project, which requires big chunk of land, refuses to part with his land, then, on the basis of consolidation, the land owner can be given compensation of 20 per cent more than the collector rate of such land. The land, so needed, can also be exchanged with an equal area of land in the same revenue estate or village,” Khattar said.

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Category: Lifestyle

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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