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In Focus

Posted at: Sep 3, 2018, 12:24 AM; last updated: Sep 3, 2018, 12:24 AM (IST)

Price of proximity

The value of land in Haryana is quite high because of its proximity to the national capital, hence land acquisition has been a contentious affair here, says Sushil Manav
Price of proximity

Acquisition of land for development projects has always been a thorny issue in Haryana where prices of agriculture land have escalated phenomenally in the past one-and-a-half decade. Proximity to the national capital brightens the scope for more development in the state, but this nearness also makes it difficult for the government to acquire land due to constant price escalations. 

The state has witnessed many demonstrations by farmers against acquisition of their lands in the past. The issue had been a bone of contention between the farmers and the state government during the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda government. There has been, however, a lull during the BJP-led Manohar Lal Khattar's regime because not many land acquisitions have taken place during the current government. 

Prolonged agitations by farmers were witnessed whenever efforts were made by the Congress government to acquire land in Gurugram, Manesar, Rewari or any other places close to the National Capital Region. Even in Fatehabad, where the state acquired 1,503 acres of land for nuclear power projects, farmers staged dharna for almost three years.

This happened despite the Congress government introducing several incentives like 30 per cent of the compensation amount as solatium, 20 per cent as no-litigation incentive and 21,000 per acre per annum with hike of Rs 750 per annum towards annuity. However, the largesse could not satisfy the farmer.

In January this year, the government also notified rules regarding calculation of the value of a land under acquisition. Under the rule, for any rural land to be acquired for a project, the market value would be calculated by the collector would be multiplied by 1.25 if the distance of the acquired land is up to 10 kms from the boundary of any urban area in the state to any part of the land to be acquired. Similarly, it will be multiplied by 1.50 if the distance is 10 to 20 km, by 1.75 in case the distance is 20-30 km and by 2 in case the distance is above 30 km.

Last year, the state government had come up with an amendment to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Haryana Amendment) Act, 2017, aimed at empowering it to denotify lands, if the projects become unviable. This provision would stop hoarding of land that was rampant in the state until some years ago.

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