HYDERABAD: The state government has done what it has been saying it would. It issued a notification (GO 166) on Thursday for acquiring land from farmers in capital region in Guntur district, invoking provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 as amended by Ordinance, 2015.
The government issued the Ordinance to make the farmers who are not willing to part with their lands under land pooling, to fall in line as the amended provisions of the Land Acquisition Act confer sweeping powers on the State government while acquiring agriculture land.
The Ordinance, 2015 empowers the state government to exempt land from Chapter II and III of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. Chapter II lays down that before acquisition of land, social impact assessment has to be done besides ensuring whether the land sought to be acquired is for public purpose. Chapter III deals with food security. Under Section 10 A, state cannot take multi-crop irrigated land. However, it can do so as the last resort but it has to develop an equal area into agriculture land elsewhere in lieu of area of the land acquired.
The state government has invoked the Act since the date of foundation laying for the new capital city is fast approaching (June 6).
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat here on Thursday, Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana, who has been overseeing the land pooling process, announced that the government would be acquiring lands in the capital region through the Land Acquisition Act.
“Government is firm on its stand to build the capital in the identified land. If the farmers do not give land under land pooling, it would be acquired under Land Acquisition Act,” he said.
Stating that the government had already informed the court that it would be acquiring lands in the capital region through the Land Acquisition Act, he said 8,000 acres would be acquired through this route thereby fulfilling the total land requirement. The government had already taken 33,000 acre through land pooling.
“Still farmers can opt for land pooling. It’s up to them. They can opt whatever they want. Government will not force them to opt for land pooling,” he said.
When it was brought to the notice of the minister that as per the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, there is no exemption for rural infrastructure from the social impact assessment study, he said the ordinance issued by the NDA government empowers state to allow such exemption.
“We are aware of it and the GO issued by the State government exempts Chapters 2 and 3 of the Land Acquisition Act,” he said. He said the government would take care of all the legal hurdles and see that the required land for construction of the capital city is acquired.