Builders and farmers laud new land policy

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NOIDA: Villagers as well as developers in the region are upbeat at the decision taken by the UP cabinet on Tuesday allowing “mutual agreement and negotiations” between farmers and acquiring agencies in deciding the rate at which land can be acquired. Government sources said the proposal will even apply to all road and expressway development projects.

In the past, farmers have alleged of being looted by the government as well as developers as their lands were acquired at “throwaway” rates and allotted at handsome prices to real estate companies. “The best part of this proposal is that the farmers will also be part of the deal. They will not feel cheated as land acquisition rates will be decided by district-level committees headed by district magistrates. With the purchasing agencies and land owners both being part of this committee, the acquisition rate will be decided through a mutual agreement,” said RK Arora, CREDAI (west UP) vice president.

The additional CEO of Greater Noida Authority, Harish Kumar Verma, said that this decision will help in maintaining transparency in all real estate operations. “This proposal will help us execute work and speed up development because now there would be less chances of agitation by farmers,” said Verma.

In keeping with the existing rules, the rate at which land will be acquired will be notified to the public for a two-month period. Parties concerned will be allowed to lodge protests, if any, during this period. “The decision is welcome because it will cater to all sections and there will be no severe burden on the government. The decision is expected to work out as a mutually satisfactory arrangement for the state government as well as farmers. The government will not have to pay six times the circle rates, as promised by the Samajwadi Party in its manifesto, and farmers will have a chance to negotiate the land deals and get better returns than otherwise,” said Vijay Gupta, member Assocham and chairman of Orris Infrastructure.

The government said that in addition to compensation for their land, displaced people will also receive all benefits of the state’s Relief and Rehabilitation Policy, 2010. In cases where the district level committee fails to reach a consensus over acquisition rates, the government will proceed to acquire land in line with the existing land acquisition policy.

“The decision will ease the land disputes and avoid agitation which ultimately makes the pace of work and development suffers. Agitations by farmers not only hamper construction of projects but also push the economy back. The decision will leave a good impact on the homebuyers too because it will generate a sense of security that their dream homes will be ready in the time period initially stated by the developer,” Gupta added.

In 2012, the UP government had successfully experimented with this model. In Ambedkarnagar, farmers were given three times the circle rates when land was acquired for the NTPC project. The land was acquired only after taking farmers’ consent.


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