Monday, December 11, 2006

Land acquisitions, the way out

In response to Confused's post Gaurav made a point that restoring Fundamental right to Property will solve the issue. I had also made the same point here. Is the current dispensation at the Centre in a position to push for Fundamental Right to property ? I doubt it. So what is the way out?
Get the Government out from the process of buying land and handing it out to the industry. Lets say Tata Motors wants 1000 Acres to set up a factory. Government should restrict itself to approving the project and stating that as long the land is not an ecologically fragile zone it will covert the land for factory use. It is up to Tata Motors to identify a land suitable to them, negotiate with the owners the terms etc.
This process leads to the following
1) Land owners get market prices i.e No artificial pricing which states that a multi crop per year land is just twice as valuable as a single crop land etc.
2) Tata Motors(or any Industry) gets land that it is looking for. It also means that since it is paying market rates, It will rework its land requirements to suit its budget and make appropriate trade offs ( i.e will a four floor plant office be cheaper than a single floor plant office, if it can result in acquiring 2 acres less etc )
3) Government does not use its powers unjustly to coerce citizens. It gets the credit for the development without getting the flak for power misuse.

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