Land acquisition rates may triple

Land acquisition rates may triple

Land acquisition rates for Delhi farmers are likely to be increased at least three fold – from Rs 56 lakh an acre to Rs 1.5 crore to 3 crore an acre – if a proposal made by the revenue department is accepted.

According to the officials, the proposed increase is aimed at minimising owners’ resistance to land take over for government projects, including five sub-cities that were conceptualised about seven years ago for meeting housing needs of the capital in the next decade.

A senior official said an added advantage of the proposed hike in rates would be that while taking over the farmers’ land, the government would also earn a handsome revenue in the form of registration fee.

“One reason for hiking the land acquisition rate is that the current rate of Rs 56 lakh per acre is very low as compared to the prevailing market rate,” said a senior revenue department official.

If the proposal is accepted, it may also check use of unaccounted money in land deals – a major source of revenue loss to the government, he said.

The proposal file, which passed through the office of Revenue Principal Secretary Dharampal, may be put before Chief Secretary S K Srivastava, said a source in the Delhi government.

Sources in Raj Niwas said Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung – who controls land matters in the city – was also likely to be briefed on the proposal.

Court battles

The Delhi government has faced several situations earlier in which the low land rates had resulted in farmers’ dragging the authorities to court for enhancement of compensation for land acquisition.

A bulk of the land acquired by the government is used by the Delhi Development Authority for housing scheme. “An increase in the acquisition cost may also raise  the final prices of houses built on these lands,” said an official.

Officials said on major casualty of the low land acquisition rates has been the city planners to develop five sub-cities – like the one in Dwarka – for meeting housing needs in Delhi.

They further said the decision to set up five sub-cities was taken in 2007 and the DDA had begun work on it by finalising their designs but the plan was abandoned in 2011.

“Influential farmers launched a drive against land acquisition as their land was in the process of being taken over.

Not only was acquisition process stopped but the plan for the sub-cities was also abandoned,” said an official.