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Acquisition law rewards land losers in a big way

But Civic Agencies Fear Project Cost Escalation, Delays

Bangalore: Land acquisition for infrastructure or industrial development projects is likely to become a smoother and more rewarding process, with the new land acquisition law coming into force. But there are also apprehensions in the infrastructure sector that-several projects, especially in Ban galore, may run into cost escalation and execution de lays, owing to increased compensation costs.

The new law - The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Re settlement Act, 2013 - is guided by stricter norms and higher compensation for land owners. Under the new act, government agencies need to get the consent of 70% of land owners in case of public-private partnership projects and then pay them double the compensation (twice more than the market value). It also man dates effective rehabilitation and resettlement measures. "The new law will definitely escalate the project cost. But I do not think it will cause any execution delays in projects like the Metro or peripheral road. If people find the compensation package fair deal chances of disputes will be relatively few and there will be less opposition too. But the causes of delay for public sector projects could be others," said Narendar Pani, professor and dean, School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.