Andhra Pradesh

LA completed smoothly for atomic plant, international airport

Drones and spatial technology used to collect exact land data during land acquisition in Kovvada of Srikakulam district.

Drones and spatial technology used to collect exact land data during land acquisition in Kovvada of Srikakulam district.  

Officials in Vizianagaram, Srikakulam districts successful in implementing the new Act

The Year-2017 will be in history forever as far as land acquisition is concerned in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts where land could be acquired by the government for India’s major projects such as atomic power plant and Bhogapuram international airport. Both district administrations have been credited for the effective implementation of the historic Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act-2013.

For the first time in the State, the Act was implemented in these two districts in spite of many hurdles, agitations and legal tangles. The government paid up to ₹18 lakh per acre in Kovvada and surrounding villages of Srikakulam district for acquring nearly 605 acres of private land.

Highest compensation

The compensation has gone up to ₹33 lakh per acre in surrounding villages of Bhogapuram of Vizianagaram districts. The government paid between ₹24 lakh and ₹33 lakh per acre for the property onwers of Gudepuvalasa, Kancheru, Kavulavada, Savaravilli, Munjeru and A.Ravivalasa to acquire 1,384 acres of land. The payment of ₹33 lakh per acre is considered to be the highest compensation offered in the State.

In fact, land acquisition has always been a major concern for the government for many decades in the country. The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 ,which existed almost 120 years in the country, used to help the government to acquire land quickly without bothering the issues of the displaced persons.

Their legitimate rights were often ignored In the name of ‘larger interests’ of the society.

However, the Act-2013 is fully in favour of the displaced persons. If payment was done as per the norms of previous Act, the displaced families would not have got more than ₹5 lakh per acre both in Kovvada and Bhogapuram.

The officials say acquisition even after offering huge compensation was not so easy under new Act with so many statutory obligations. Social impact survey is a must to ensure livelihood for the people who depended on local economic activity all these years. Consent of 80% of people is compulsory to begin acquisition process.

The government could overcome all the hurdles to make way for the construction of atomic plant and international airport. The officials also faced other challenges too with the intrusion of middlemen and people with vested interests.

The huge compensation under the Act has provided scope for locals to inflate property values and create artificial structures. The usage of technology has become a shot in the arm for Srikakulam administration to overcome such irregularities in fixation of compensation. With the directive of Srikakulam Collector K. Dhananjaya Reddy and Joint Collector K.V.N. Chakradharbabu, the revenue officials used GIS maped drones to capture the actual structures in villages like Kovvada, Ramachandrapuram, Gudem, Tekkali and others.

“We used spatial technology and geographic information system to know the exact structures and trees to avoid possible manipulation in fixation of compensation. Aadhaar- based biometric authentication is introduced to identify each beneficiary. It weeded out extraneous elements and middlemen at every stage. Bank accounts, ration cards were also seeded with Aadhaar to create individual profiles before making payments to project displaced families,” said Mr.Chakradharbabu while speaking to The Hindu. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) officials also hailed the initiative of the State government in use of technology for the identification of genuine displaced persons.

Vizianagaram Collector Vivek Yadav said that the Act had turned into a boon for many families to lead a decent life. “The year-2017 will be a memorable forever as the district administrtion could complete 80% of the acquisition for the construction of international airport at Bhogapuram. We have cross-checked the details of the Project Displaced Families (PDFs) at every level to avoid complications in future,” he added.

He hoped that the proposed airport would spur economic activity in the backward district and provide employment to many locals.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:18:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/la-completed-smoothly-for-atomic-plant-international-airport/article21996925.ece

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