Proposed land law may not pose hurdle to UKP, Yettinahole

Proposed land law may not pose hurdle to UKP, Yettinahole

Proposed land law may not pose hurdle to UKP, Yettinahole

Parliament may be divided over the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill, but most of the government projects in the State will remain unaffected by the proposed law when it comes to acquisition of land.

The Upper Krishna Project (UKP), phase III, and the Yettinahole drinking water project are likely to sail through without much problem. 

The work on the UKP has already begun in Bagalkot and Vijayapura districts. Of the one lakh acres required, 20,000 have already been acquired. Nearly six lakh hectares are to be irrigated by the project, said Shivayogi C Kalasad, Commissioner (Rehabilitation and LAQ) Upper Krishna Project.

The UKP is the biggest irrigation project in the country. The State Cabinet had given administrative approval for phase III of the Rs 17,207-crore project which aims at utilising 130.5 tmc of the Krishna river water. The rehabilitation and resettlement of people in about 22 villages is estimated to cost around Rs 2,647 crore.

To a question whether the new norms have to be applied for land acquisition for UKP, Kalasad said, “Certain provisions would be applicable, while some would not.
There is no need for conducting consent and social impact assessment, which is optional for states as per the ordinance which is in the form of a draft bill before Parliament. In case of UKP, environmental clearance has been taken.”

Sources in the government said that as per the ordinance, certain sectors like defence, rural infrastructure, energy, housing for the poor, industrial corridors and social infrastructure projects like road development through public private partnership among others are exempt from the consent and social impact assessment.

Project cost may go up

There is option for the states to either conduct consent and social impact assessment or not. Almost all mega projects or key projects fall under rural infrastructure projects. Hence, land acquisition could be done as at present.

However, compensation would have to be given as per the ordinance or the law to come into effect. This would naturally push up the cost of projects. 

Even a cost-intensive project like the Yettinahole drinking water project, which requires nearly Rs 13,000 crore, would face no problem due to the ordinance as far as acquisition of land is concerned. However, the cost of the project may see an upward revision, sources said. 

The State government will consult legal experts to frame rules once the land bill becomes law. Till then, all projects will go on as per the present rules, the sources said. 

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