NOIDA/GREATER NOIDA: The amendments to the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act through an ordinance the government brought on Monday have evoked a mixed response in Noida.
Farmers were furious that the consent clause for social infrastructure, affordable housing and some other categories of projects had been done away with and said they would protest at Jantar Mantar soon.
But for real estate players, the exemption to affordable housing from the provisions of right to fair compensation and transparency in the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, underlined the focus of the mission to provide 'Housing for All by 2022'.
Farmer leaders held a panchayat in Khairpur village in Greater Noida. The meeting was attended by representatives of several villages in Gautam Budh Nagar and neighbouring districts. They termed the ordinance a major setback to as it allowed the governments and other agencies to "snatch" land from them.
Restrictions on buying land, under the law championed by the UPA 2 government, are said to be among the barriers holding up economic projects. Several states had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overhaul the law enacted in January. After the ordinance, finance minister Arun Jaitley said projects in defence, rural electrification, rural housing and industrial corridors would not need to seek the consent of 80% of the affected landowners as mandated.
They will also be exempt from holding a social impact study involving public hearings - procedures that industry executives say can drag out the acquisition process for years. Compensation to landholders, however, will stay at four times the market price.
"No government or any other agency has the right to snatch farmers' land. These amendments in the bill have weakened farmers' rights. If the government does not roll back its decision, we will hold a countrywide protest," said farmer leader Rupesh.
Farmers said they were in talks with their counterparts in other states to evolve a common platform top protest against the ordinance. The farmers' bodies, will soon hold a mahapanchayat and take a call on the date of protest at Jantar Mantar and on further action.
According to experts, an estimated 1.7 lakh to 2 lakh hectares of land required for urban housing can now be acquired with ease.