President Pranab Mukherjee recently re-promulgated for the third time the Land Ordinance that prescribes processes for acquisition of land for public projects.
- Despite Opposition protests, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister had recommended to the President the re-issuance of the ordinance on the ground that it was necessary for maintaining continuity and providing a framework to compensate people whose land had been acquired.
- The ordinance will now have to be laid before both Houses of Parliament and shall cease to operate at the expiration of six weeks from the date of reassembly if it is not converted into law.
Important provisions in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015:
- Land shall be acquired up to 1 km on both sides of designated railway lines or roads for industrial corridor.
- Government shall undertake a survey of wasteland and arid land and maintain a record.
- A provision is included for providing employment to project affected families.
- Hearings to be held in districts where land acquisition takes place.
- Courts won’t need government nod to take cognisance of offence under CrPC.
- ‘Five year’ clause for completion of project on acquired land will be augmented and amended by the length of the project. No acquisition will be transferred to private persons.
- Under section 33 compulsory employment clause shall be inserted.
- Land acquired for Hospitals, Educational Institutions and other Social Projects will not come under definition of Industrial Corridor.
- Government to ensure before notification land acquired would be bare minimum required for a project.
- Infrastructure projects including projects under public private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government, appropriate governments are empowered to take steps for exemption from “Social Impact Assessment” and “Special Provisions for Safeguarding Food Security”. In addition acquisition for such projects are exempted from the “Consent” provisions of the Act as well.
Sources: The Hindu, PIB.