Government proposes nine amendments to land bill

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New Delhi, March 10: Facing stiff opposition over the land bill, the government has proposed nine amendments including restricting acquisition of land within one km of both sides of railway tracks and highways, providing employment to at least one member of affected family and creating a bank of barren land, sources said.

The sources said the government is keen on the bill passing in the first half of budget session as it has to replace ordinance brought in the inter-session period. Opposition members in Lok Sabha have demanded that the bill should be sent to a standing committee.

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The government faces a tougher task to get the bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, where it lacks a majority.

The sources said the amendments to the bill are expected to be moved by Rural Development Minister Birender Singh in the Lok Sabha while seeking passage of the bill.

The proposed amendment relates to industrial corridors set up by the appropriate government and its undertakings.

They said that the amendment states that land shall be acquired "up to one kilometer on both sides of designated railway line or roads for such industrial corridor".

They said that another amendment relates to government ensuring before notification that land acquired would be the minimum required for a project.

The government has also proposed that appropriate government shall undertake a survey of its wasteland including arid land and maintain a record containing details of such land.

Sources said another amendment relates to incorporation of provision for employment to project-affected families.

They said the government has proposed insertion of words "including compulsory employment to at least one member of such affected family."

Sources said an amendment relates to holding hearings in the district where land acquisition takes place. They said the government has proposed that the appropriate authority shall hold the hearing in the district where the land acquisition takes place for settlement of objections.

They said the government has also proposed to delete the provision which had provided for prior sanction of the government for a court to take cognizance of an offence under relevant section of Code of Criminal Procedure.

The sources said that the government has proposed that the original lines in the bill will be replaced with a provision that "the court shall take cognizance of such offence provided the procedure laid down in section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is followed."

The government had last month introduced in the Lok Sabha The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

IANS

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