Assembly approves Land Acquisition Bill

  • Paves way for new projects and development agenda

Hyderabad:  The winter session of Telangana Legislative Assembly approved Telangana Land Acquisition Amendment Bill 2016, replacing Land Acquisition Act 2013, which paves way for acquiring land for projects and development works and to pay suitable compensation to the land givers and affected people.

With this Telangana joined those States which made amendments to the existing Land Acquisition Act, including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and others.

Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao slammed the opposition parties for moving court and persistent comments against the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, Mallannasagar and other irrigation projects. He said the Land Acquisition Act 2013 which has lacuna needed amendment through the new Bill. Stating that he is aware of the grief of losing the land for Manair dam works, he said that the bill is aimed to provide suitable compensation to the affected people.

During a long debate, he tried to convince that the State Government is giving 10 times compensation against the recommendation of three times made in the existing Act, besides giving Rs 5.4 lakh for two bedroom facility to the affected people.

“It is my responsibility to inform the people about the steps being taken by the government for the projects through land acquisition and compensation”, he said. Stating that the State Government has complete powers through Article 254 of the Constitution, KCR reiterated to complete the Mallannasagar works by 2017 and give Godavari waters to North Telangana districts by 2018. The Chief Minister also flayed the CPM for conspiring against the project and trying to provoke the farmers at Mallannasagar, which led to firing by the police. “Our intention is to ensure that the evacuees and affected people get better benefits on giving their land”, the Chief Minister said and sought to know whether land acquisition was not done for multi-purpose projects like Nagarjuna Sagar, Srisailam and SRSP and others.

Earlier, Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao introduced the Bill to make an amendment for 2013 Land Acquisition Act which is not up to the mark. The Bill becomes an Act enabling the State Government to go in for acquiring the land. “The Opposition needlessly made a hue and cry against the GO 123 and we are for the best possible Act that will help the affected and farmers get better compensation through projects”, he added.

Revanth faults new Land Acquisition Act

Expressing TDP view on ‘The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment) Bill 2016’, Telangana TDP working president A Revanth Reddy alleged that the State Government abolished Section 2 and 3 from the Land Acquisition Act 2013.

The two sections were saying that the government not to take the land where two crops are cultivated and the land should be taken only after grama sabha’s approval, he said. The TRS government deleted these two sections. Moreover, it was saying that the Bill was on the lines of Gujarat Model Land Acquisition Act.  Gujarat Model Bill was confined only to acquire the land for electrification uses, Revanth said and alleged that the minister was misleading the House.

Recalling that the CPM had lost power in West Bengal for land acquirement against the wishes of people in Singur, Revanth Reddy said the ministers and officials have to put their mind while working. Finding fault with the Chief Minister for saying that the State Government was giving best compensation of Rs 6.5 lakh per acre, Revanth Reddy demanded that the Chief Minister give his Erravalli farm house land for the people, who lost their lands in Mallannasagar project, for the same price.

Kishen wants Bill sent to Select Committee

Expressing BJP view, Kishen Reddy said that there was a point in taking the lands for the purpose of irrigation projects but it was not fair on the part of the government to take thousands of acres of lands for the sake of Pharma City. The government was taking 35,000 acres of land for the sake of Pharma City, he alleged. “This much of land needed for the Pharma City?” he questioned. 

Making it clear that the people were not waging movements against the construction of projects but they were waging movements demanding good compensation, the BJP suggested to the State Government not to take the lands amidst police patrolling and it has to take the lands by convincing them.  He demanded the State Government to send the Bill to Select Committee to examine the Bill thoroughly saying that there was no hurry to pass the Land Acquisition Bill in a hurry.

He also asked the government to give a chance to the land losers to select their option for the compensation. “After all, they are our own farmers. What is wrong in it to do justice to them”, he said. -NSS

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