Land Bill will push up cost of several projects,says state govt

Changes suggested by state not considered by Lok Sabha; Bill to come up in RS today

Written by Vivek Deshpande | Nagpur | Updated: April 8, 2014 3:13:01 pm

The Congress-led UPA government had its way with the new land acquisition Bill,but its own government in Maharashtra had expressed reservations about and suggested alternatives to many critical provisions in the Bill. It had said the implementation of the Bill in the present form would make many projects unviable and stall overall development. The Bill that was passed in the Lok Sabha last week will come up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

The state had cited examples of many projects and the cost escalation they would suffer after the implementation of the Bill. Among the main reservations expressed by the Maharashtra government were certification by chief secretary,exclusively,about the project being in public interest,social assessment of the project being challengeable in court,private sector being made to rehabilitate affected people apart from paying compensation and expenditure under heads such as rehabilitation,employment to members of affected families,share in the development of land,Rs 3,000 per month for 12 months and a housing plot to affected families.

The state cited many projects that would suffer huge cost escalation if the Bill was implemented in the present form. It said the rehabilitation and resettlement cost of Shai drinking water project for Thane would go up from Rs 197 crore to Rs 784 crore,while that for Talamba irrigation project in Sindhudurg would go up from Rs 37 crore to Rs 231 crore.

The land acquisition cost alone for Vidarbha’s Gosikhurd irrigation and Paras thermal power projects would go up from Rs 15 crore to Rs 53 crore and Rs 8 crore to Rs 31 cr,respectively,the government had pointed out.

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