State works out a new land acquisition model

PATNA: Witnessing the controversies after land acquisition in various parts of the country and resistance posed by the landowners to all such moves on a minor scale on quite a few occasions back home in Bihar, the state government has become cautious in its bid to acquire land even for public good, including industries.

The government has worked out a new model for the acquisition of land for industry and other ventures of public good, where it would act merely as a link between investors and landowners. Besides, the government has also been creating its own land bank. Industry minister Renu Kumari said, “The government has succeeded in creating a right atmosphere for investors.”

The new policy, called ‘Aao Bihar (Come to Bihar)’, is aimed at giving investors a sense of certainty that land would be available for them in Bihar.

“The government will not directly acquire land. Instead, the government would work as a link between investors and landowners,” said industry department principal secretary C K Mishra on Thursday.

The new method envisages creating a pool of landowners, with each owning more than two acres of land, who are willing to sell their land for public good at their own desired rate. “The Bihar situation is typical. Its land is arable, and land holdings of farmers are small,” Mishra said, adding: “Given the ground situation, acquisition of land in Bihar is very difficult, but farmers are willing to sell their land. Therefore, the government had to devise a new method under the ‘Aao Bihar’ call for investors.”

Under this policy, farmers, either individually or in group, willing to sell their individual or collective chunk of land would have to submit the details to the DM concerned, who, in turn, would check the legal papers to ascertain that they are not disputed. The DM, then, would forward the verified details of the chunk of land to Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA), which would put the details on its website showing the price quoted by the farmers concerned. “The investors would have a reference pool of chunks of land to acquire them for their ventures,” Mishra said.

Mishra said the new method of land acquisition had worked wonders in buying of land for thermal power plant in private sector in Banka district, where 700 acres of land had been acquired and Rs 1,350 crore had already been spent on infrastructure development. “The first power unit will go into production within a year,” he added. This method would be followed for other power plants too.

Stating that the industrial scenario in the state was looking up, Mishra said that food processing units constituted the “real strength” of the state, and by July end, 30 food processing units, including the three biscuit units of Britannia, Parley and Anmol, would also go into production.

Source: TOI