Land for Land Demand

Land for land is a difficult demand in land acquisition in India. Normally with present land system in India, conceding to this demand will create a vicious cycle of land acquisition and there will be no end to it. RFCRRTLA Bill 2012 tried to address this issue by providing one acres of land in command area for each irrigation project affected families and 20 per cent of developed land from urbanisation project in cost basis. When we go deep into irrigation projects, in general more land is acquired in catchment area, which is normally located in hilly terrain areas for water storage and construction of dam, and less land is acquired in command area for canals and distributaries. Providing one acre of land in command area by again acquiring land means, the land loser in hilly terrain has to be shifted to plain area where land is allotted. Is this proposal will be acceptable to hilly terrain people? It will again start the cycle of land acquisition in common area. in case of urbanisation project, 20 per cent of developed land will be given to land losers on cost basis, then who will pocket the profit of the rest 80 per cent of developed land in the urbanisation project, which is having less gestation period project and less cost involved in development of land. When we again analyses this issue and being working in this field, the demand for land for land arise due to two major reasons, namely:

  • (i) Most of the land for land demand arises from scheduled V and VI areas of costitution of India and other tribal areas. Land in these areas is mostly inheritable and it has little or no transferability. Most of the land looser, land once lost is lost forever, neither they themselves nor their future generation can purchase land from the land market, because there is no developed land market or land market at all. For example in Jharkhand The Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act 1949 (SPT Act) covers six district of Jharkhand namely, sahibganj, Pakur, Godda, Dumka, Deoghar and Jamtara. Section (20)(1) of SPT Act says ''no transfer by a raiyat of his right in his holding or any portion here of, by sale, gift, mortgage, will, lease, or any other contract or agreement, expressed or impiled, shall be valid unless the right to transfer has been recorded in the record of rights, and then only to this extent to which such right is so record'' (Prasad, 2007). Law like this makes impossible for a land loser to purchase another piece of land using the compensation amount. Everyone knows the story that court in the Uttar Pradesh ruled that Amitabh Baachan is not a farer and hence he is ineligibles to purchase agricultural land. Here, there is mutual consent of both parties for consideration, why should state intervene? This distortion in land market is making land acquisition difficult and strengthening demand land for land.
  • (ii) As discussed in just compensation for land, the amount compensation paid in land acquisition is not sufficient to purchase same amount of similar nature land in similar location, in many cases.
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