‘Houses are no compensation under LA Act-2013’
While a majority of land oustees under both Mallannasagar and Kondapochamma reservoirs have opted for the package offered by the administration, the government is likely to find itself in a fix addressing the demand of the 200-odd farmers, who want the implementation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act-2013 (LA Act-2013).
Despite immense pressure from officials and political leaders, the oustees, who have moved the court to ensure implementation of the LA Act-2013, are sticking to their guns.
Recently, Gajwel Revenue Divisional Officer (RDO) D. Vijayender Reddy informed the litigant land oustees that they would be allotted 60 yards of residential plot for construction of Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) houses at a cost of ₹2 lakh each.
However, under the LA Act-2013, the government has to allot them land.
The second schedule of the LA Act clearly states: “In case of irrigation project, as far as possible and in lieu of compensation to be paid for land acquired, each affected family owning agricultural land in the affected area and whose land has been acquired or lost, or who has as a consequence of the acquisition or loss of land, has been reduced to the status of marginal farmer or landless, shall be allotted, in the name of each person included in the records of rights with regard to affected family, a minimum one acre of land in the command area of the project for which the land is acquired. Provided that in every project those persons losing land and belonging to the Scheduled Castes or the Scheduled Tribes will be provided land equivalent to land acquired or two and one half acres, whichever is lower.”
“There are about 55 farmers who are still demanding the implementation of LA Act-2013. The government hardly needs to acquire another 200 acres to allot lanf for them under these projects. When the government was able to acquire 20,000 acres for both these projects, how it can not acquire another 200 acres?” asked Mr. Hayathuddin, who has been demanding the implementation of the Act. According to legal experts, the word ‘as far as possible’ carries heavy weight in support of the demand by the land oustees.
“The government has to make all efforts to get land for oustees who have opted for the implementation of the LA Act- 2013. It cannot escape stating that it cannot acquire land when it could to acquire more than 20,000 acres for both these projects. If someone approaches the court, the onus is on the government to prove that it was not possible to acquire land for farmers,” commented a legal expert.
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