The Times Of India,18 June 2014, New Delhi: In a move to fast track land acquisition for highway projects, the road transport ministry has proposed that the agencies concerned including NHAI should be allowed to make one-time payment for all compensation and rehabilitation charges to the affected property owners under the new law.
The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act has a provision stating that the agency acquiring land should give alternate land and in case any built up property is acquired, then such alternative plots have to be offered for resettlement and rehabilitation (R&R).
“Though there is a provision that we can also give cash compensation, the affected party has the right to choose. So, we are proposing that we be allowed to make payments for all compensation upfront. Moreover, for road projects, we take linear land and there is little displacement,” said a ministry official.
Officials said providing land for land and house for house becomes a difficult task since this would involve another round of land acquisition at a different locality.
Sources said the ministry is also proposing that for annuity payment to the affected party, which forms part of the R&R policy, the agencies should be allowed to pay the entire amount at one go so that the cumbersome process of maintaining records and monitoring the payment can be avoided.
All these proposals will be placed before road transport minister Nitin Gadkari, who holds additional charge of rural development.
Gadkari has told transport ministry officials that he would soon hold a meeting with chief ministers here to find a way out. Sources said though there has been a central law, state governments have been tweaking the central Act to have their own models that fit their requirement.