The Time Of India, 21 Aug 2014 Mumbai: Land acquired under the new Land Acquisition Act, if lying idle for five years, will be returned to the original owner. In such cases, the state government will first issue a public notification asking if any government agency wants the land for a project.
In the past the government has failed to return acquired land even decades after it failed to set up the project for which the land was acquired. Often such land has been sold to a private enterprise.
These and other rules for implementing the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, were approved by the state cabinet on Wednesday even as the Centre is contemplating amendments to the act.
A significant aspect of the rules is that consent, once given, cannot be withdrawn, said officials from the revenue and forests departments.
Under the rules, a social impact assessment (SIA) in an area identified for a project will be done before seeking consent of the local residents.
The government will draw up a list of accredited NGOs and training institutes that can carry out the SIA.
The SIA report will be scrutinized by an expert group comprising the secretary, land acquisition, NGOs and members of the gram panchayat.Before starting the exercise for taking consent of residents for a project , the list of project-affected persons will be drawn up and made public.
Consents will be digitally thumbed, as in case of the Aadhar card.