K'taka to finalise land acquisition rules soon

Karnataka will finalise rules for the new land acquisition legislation - Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013- in a fortnight, state revenue minister Srinivas Prasad said here on Friday.

Prasad, in New Delhi to attend the revenue ministers' conference convened by Union Rural Development Minister Nitin Gadkari to discuss the land act passed by the UPA government, told reporters that the draft rules have been posted for public comments on June 21 and the state government would finalise them after studying the comments.

He said the new rules would apply to all land acquisitions since January 1, 2014, for both public and private purposes.

Karnataka is also in the process of amending other acts in the state like BDA, KHB and KIADB as required by the new law, the revenue minister said.

He added that requirements of the law such as appointing commissioner for rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) and project administrators in all the districts have also been met.

While lauding the rehabilitation and compensation aspects of the new law, Karnataka has suggested removal of the clause requiring land holders’ consent to acquire their land for rail or road projects that would eventually benefit the public.

It also suggested that the R&R package should apply for acquisitions above 500 acres, while also calling for social impact assessments to be limited to large projects involving mass displacements and rehabilitation.

Karnataka has also asked that the law should allow the land to remain with the government’s land bank and should not be returned to the owners when it is not utilised for the intended purpose of acquisition within the specified timeframe.

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