BHUBANESWAR: With non-availability of government land posing a obstacle for social development projects, the State Government has paved the way for an easy acquisition of private land so that welfare schemes and programmes are not hit. The Revenue and Disaster Management department has issued a fresh set of guidelines under which departments can purchase private land up to 10 hectare in a revenue village through bilateral negotiation.
The department has declared officers mandated with filing requisition under Land Acquisition Act, 1894 as competent authority to purchase the land. The purchase price of the land required shall be fixed at a flat 175 per cent of the benchmark valuation.
The decision has come after the Government realised that social projects such as anganwadi centres, live stock aid centres, Bharat Nirmal Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra buildings, primary health centres, community centres __ largely dependent on government land __ are facing problems in implementation.
The reasons attributed are the government land are either not available or located far away from the habitation.
Though requirement of land for such projects is very small, the procedures of LA Act are cumbersome resulting in delay in acquisition and subsequently implementation of the projects.
The new guidelines say that compensation for the land shall be paid over and above the land price, while due diligence such as non-encumbrance certificate from revenue authorities to establish a clear title of the seller must be arrived well in advance.
Efforts should be made to identify compact land patches for the projects.
The Revenue department has clearly stipulated that land belonging to Scheduled Tribes in schedule areas cannot be purchased since it is prohibited by the law.
However, in case of Scheduled Castes in schedule areas and SC and ST in non-schedule areas, permission must be obtained from the competent authorities.
It has also cautioned against deals with intermediaries and power of attorney holder for the private land. “Transaction shall be made only with bona fide owners of the land,” said the guidelines. Land purchased for such purposes will be registered without payment of any stamp duty and registration fee.
Before getting into the negotiation, the competent land acquisition officials have been instructed to ensure suitability of the patch and accessibility through road and amenities like drinking water.