The Haryana government can now compulsorily take possession of the land of an unwilling owner for a government project where 70 per cent of the land has already been acquired by exchanging his plot with another piece or suitably compensating him.
The Haryana Consolidation of Project Land (Special Provision) Bill, 2017 was passed by the state assembly even as opposition parties Congress and INLD staged a walkout, accusing the BJP-led government of giving "undue advantage" to private players.
However, the Manohar Lal Khattar-led government rubbished the charges.
On the last day of the three-day winter session of the Haryana assembly, the state government tabled Haryana Consolidation of Project Land (Special Provision) Bill, 2017, along with other bills.
The Bill says "where the state government or any agency owns or has purchased 70 per cent or more of the total project in a particular area falling in one or more revenue estates and remaining is left out pockets of private land, the state government may consolidate the total project land to ensure the viability of such project."
"The projects are sometimes held up because a few landowners are not willing to sell their lands. In such cases, it may be necessary to compulsorily exchange some of the land so purchased for the project or to suitably compensate the owners of the left out pieces of land," as per the statement of objects of the Bill.
The Bill also says, "No civil court shall have any jurisdiction to entertain or decide any question relating to matters falling under this Act."
The competent authority shall take over the left out pockets of private land and shall disburse the compensation or hand over possession of the land in lieu thereof to the person to which he is entitled under the final consolidation scheme in such manner as may be prescribed, the Bill said.
After the bill was tabled, the opposition benches led by Congress raised questions over the intention of the state government in bringing the bill and accused it of giving "undue advantage" to private players.
Congress MLAs Kiran Choudhry and Raghuvir Kadiyan demanded the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar defer the bill till the next assembly session.
However, the bill was passed despite objections raised by the INLD and Congress. Members of the both the parties walked out of the House in protest.
Later talking to reporters, Choudhry alleged "the provisions under this Bill were such that the law was brought to give advantage to private people".
"The state government will also be able to exchange the high priced land of any government department for any project under this Bill. When we demanded clarification, the government refused to give the same," she claimed.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rubbished the charges of the opposition parties and said there is no question of giving high-priced land in exchange for low value holdings under this bill.
Khattar asserted the government would buy land from land owners only through negotiations.
"If any farmer, whose land falls in an area earmarked for proposed project which requires big chunk of land, refuses to part with his land, then on the basis of consolidation, land owner can be given compensation 20 per cent more than the collector rate of such land. The land, so needed, can also be exchanged with an equal area of land in the same revenue estate or village," Khattar said.
He noted that it has become very difficult to acquire land for projects.He further said the bill is meant only for projects of the government, boards or corporations.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)