The Times Of India, Feb 26 2014, New Delhi: Lack of full statehood has now become a hurdle in the path of Delhi’s development. A new central law on land acquisition that came into force on January 1 leaves the union territories with no say in land acquisition for projects, vesting all the powers in the Centre. As a result, there’s a shadow of uncertainty over at least 15 development projects in Delhi, besides the Metro’s expansions plans.
Delhi, not being a full state, remains in the category of union territories, as per the Constitution. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation, Resettlement Act 2013 does not leave the UTs with anypower to carry out fresh land acquisition, not even under the ‘urgency’ clause. Land can now be acquired in Delhi only with the home ministry’s clearance.
After seeking legal opinion on the matter, Delhi’s chief secretary has decided to write to the home ministry to delegate land acquisition powers to the city through a special provision. Before the new law came into force, all acquisitions were carried out in accordance with the Land Acquisition Act 1894. The Centre had delegated powers to the Delhi government for acquiring land.