New Act Makes Land Acquisition Costlier for Metro

Hyderabad:  With the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 coming into force from January 1, Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) and Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) have to shell out double compensation to landowners towards acquisition of land for public private partnership (PPP) projects.

With the new Land Acquisition Act in place, HMR has to face the major brunt in terms of giving of double solatium to the land owners as GHMC and Hyderabad district administration could not acquire 60 per cent on properties in the old city, Badi Chowdi to Sultan Bazar as well as a few properties in Chikkadpally, Musheerabad where the Corridor II from JBS to Falaknuma metro line was proposed.

Similarly on the corridor III from Nagole to Shilparamam, stretches between Greenlands and Ameerpet X Roads, Sarathi Studios, State Home, Secunderabad, Krishnanagar and Gachibowli, GHMC has to acquire a few more properties.

GHMC officials told Express that the new legislation will guide all land acquisitions of Central and state governments, bringing in stricter norms and increasing landowners’ compensation significantly. They said the new Act replaces the earlier  legislation and provides fair compensation to land owners.

The important feature of the Act is that the developers will need the consent of up to 80 per cent of people whose land is acquired for private projects and of 70 per cent of the landowners in the case of public-private partnership projects. It also provides for compensation as high as two times more than the existing practice in urban areas.

According to the new Act, the state government will have to set up at least six bodies  to hear disputes arising out of projects where land acquisition has been initiated by the state or its agencies.

They said that in cases where the consent awards have been passed before December 31, but properties could not be acquired, the new Act does not apply. For the  Metro Rail Project, the state government has spent nearly Rs 200 crore compensation for acquiring land.