GUJARAT: The Gujarat revenue department has issued orders to all district collectors, DDOs (district development officers) and all concerned district and state authorities to put on hold all processes for land acquisition till the Centre and the state government notify new rules and regulations under the newly enacted, ‘Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation And Resettlement Act-2013′. Land acquisition for Narmada canals and others, roads, public utilities and industrial land acquisitions have also been put on hold by the state government. This has caused panic in real estate industry.
Highly-placed sources in the state revenue department said that the new law had come into force in the state from January 1, 2014.
“All concerned district and state authorities have been asked not to initiate any new process for land acquisition under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Only those will be permitted for which notification under Article 6 (final notice for acquisition) of the old Act, has been issued. Steps for acquisition of land initiated under Article 4 of the old Act will not be allowed. All such acquisitions will also be only according to the new Act,” a source said.
Another source said that, last week, the state-level committee of ministers had also discussed this issue. “The revenue department has initiated the process for framing of new rules according to the new law and is waiting for rules from the Centre. The process for appointment of land acquisition officers under the new law has also been initiated. No fresh land acquisition will be allowed until these process come to an end,” the source said.
A senior officer of the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) – the state government’s land acquisition arm for industrial development – said that because of the new Act, the GIDC’s plans for acquisition of more than 2,000 hectares in 2014-15 had been put on hold. “Private land acquisition, major industrial parks and other projects will also be affected. Till the government gives us clearance for starting the land acquisition process, we will not do anything,” the officer said.
The state government is also working on naming a special authority and officials for execution of the new law. The Gujarat government is still of the opinion that the allegedly “impractical” provisions of the new Act will make it difficult for the state government to execute projects meant for the public’s benefit.