By Accommodation Times News Service
The Centre is likely to set up a specialized agency to chart the resettlement and rehabilitation plan for families displaced by land acquisition.
The agency , tentatively called the `R&R Board’, will take care of all cases of acquisition as against the present system of the district collector appointing an `administrator’ in every district to work out the R&R plan where land is taken over.
Though still in the works, the board may be an all-powerful body with the mandate to hammer out the resettlement plan for the displaced. It may also be given the authority to decide if an acquisition requires Social Impact Assessment -presently a mandatory process to determine the cost and rationale of acquisition.
Importantly, all linear projects like ports, railways etc may be exempted from the ambit of the land acquisition law. The Centre may, however, retain the provision that no land can be put to use until R&R has been settled.
Sources said the board would be a specialized body on the lines of central agencies with specific mandates like the National Disaster Response Force for calamities. Appointment of professionals at its head with ministerial status is being thought of to give it enough teeth.
While R&R provision in the land law passed by the Congress government in 2013 is in for overhaul, sources said the compensation norms for land are likely to remain the same four times of market rate in rural areas and twice in urban areas. An enabling provision may allow affected persons to decide the compensation by arriving at a mutually agreed price.