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Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, 2011 Bill (LARR Bill 2011) is an important regulation, the final draft of which was cleared by the “Group of Ministers” (GoM) this week.  It will now be introduced in the Winter Session.  It has also been renamed as Right to Fair Compensation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Bill.

The Act’s provisions will apply when the “appropriate Government” acquires land:

(a) for its own use, hold and control; or
(b) with the purpose to transfer it for the use of private companies for public
purpose (including Public Private Partnership projects but not including national or
state highway projects); or
(c) on the request of private companies for immediate and declared use by such companies of land for public purposes:
Provided that no land shall be transferred by way of acquisition, in the Scheduled Areas in contravention of the law relating to land transfer, prevailing in such Scheduled

Some of its provisions are:

  • The final draft of the bill now proposes consent of two-third of “land losers” (from whom land would be purchased) for acquiring land for public-private-partnership and private projects, sources said.   It has no retrospective clause and instead there will be a cut-off date to be decided later, they said. (link)
  • “There is no clause about retrospective effect. You cannot have two laws operating at the same time. You cannot have one type of acquisition taking place under the 1894 Act and another sort taking place under the new Act. Therefore, we have to now think of a mechanism. We will have a cut-off date,” Mr Ramesh said. (link)
  • In another major concession, the GoM has agreed to allow possession of acquired land even before the completion of rehabilitation and resettlement of the affected families, but only after having provided monetary compensation. However, in case of irrigation projects, the rehabilitation and resettlement provisions must be fulfilled at least six months before the submergence takes place. (link)

The bill has its pluses and minuses.. but its main criticism is that it still makes acquisition of land difficult for the progress of the country when it is required for social projects specifically.  But in a way I would feel given the current climate of loot going on in real estate, we should make it tougher.

(Image courtesy: Kam Dhen)