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Special panel formed to speed up land acquisition

Several dam projects are stuck due to confusion over compensation package.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
December 26, 2014 9:18:56 am
dam construction delayed, land acquistion, mumbai land acquisition Confusion over compensation package delays multiple multiple projects.

Even as it probes allegations of corruption in irrigation projects during the Congress-NCP regime, the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has an equally big issue to take care of. Several dam projects are on hold due to confusion over the compensation package offered against acquisition of land.

“There is a big difference between the compensation provided under the centre’s new Land Acquisition Bill or the state’s previous model and the market price. This has caught the farmers in a bind,” said a senior state official.

The delay in land acquisition has affected many projects, throwing deadlines out of gear.

The worst affected are dam projects in the Vidarbha belt where the backlog of irrigation work is already high.

A performance audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) earlier had revealed a cost escalation of over Rs 47,000 crore in 601 ongoing irrigation projects.

A senior official said the cost escalation scenario was expected to worsen further if the land acquisition puzzle was not solved soon.
Expressing concern over the state of affairs, Fadnavis Wednesday appointed a special panel comprising senior bureaucrats to evolve a uniform policy for acquiring land for irrigation and infrastructure projects. Additional Chief Secretary (Planning) KP Baxi will head the panel, which has been asked to submit its report within a month.

Consumer panel scrapped

Continuing with its policy to disband non-officio panels formed during the previous Congress-NCP regime in Maharashtra, the Devendra Fadnavis government Wednesday scrapped the Consumer Welfare Advisory Panel. The food and civil supplies department, which issued orders in this regard, has said the panel failed in its primary responsibility of “taking steps to spread the consumer movement”. The previous government had appointed Thane-based Suryakant Gawli as the panel’s chairperson in August 2014. The government orders said Gawli’s appointment would also come to a naught with the scrapping of the panel.

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