NEW DELHI: With delay in acquiring of land hampering rail projects, the Ministry of Railways has now streamlined rules and asked for the acquisition of land through any existing law including the 2013 land acquisition law, direct negotiation with the land holder and 2008 Railways (Amendment) Act, 2008.
The ministry decided to allow use of all prevailing laws as it was found that there is no uniformity regarding route to be followed for land acquisition by various state governments. It was found that policy formulated by most of the states provide for the acquisition of land through direct negotiation with fixation of compensation by district level committee.
Several new rail line projects have been delayed because of confusion over land acquisition and different laws in states. The new norms will help railway officials to take quick decisions in case of land acquisition for projects.
Subsequent to the enactment of Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013, most of the state governments have framed a policy for land acquisition in their respective states.
“In case all land acquisition in a state, either by state government or by Centre government agencies, is being done through direct negotiation only or state government is categorically stating that they are not in a position to acquire land through RFCTLARR and are not willing to spare any district official for facilitating land acquisition, than land can also be acquired through direct negotiation as per the state law,” said the order issued by railway board.
In case of new lines and gauge conversion, the ministry has said the acquisition should be carried out either through RA Act 2016 or RFCTLARR while for projects which have been declared as Special Railway Project, land should be acquired through RAA, 2008.
“In case of doubling, traffic facilities, passenger amenities works and other works, normal requirement of land is minimal as most of the land required is available with Railways, therefore acquisition of land can be done through direct negotiation if the state government has formulated policy,” said the order.