India Inc not happy with retrospective applicability rider

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SummaryIncreased cost and time to acquire land is not the only thing worrying India Inc after the Lok Sabha passed the land acquisition Bill on Thursday

Increased cost and time to acquire land is not the only thing worrying India Inc after the Lok Sabha passed the land acquisition Bill on Thursday.

Another problem issue is the retrospective applicability to all cases of land acquisition if the award under the earlier 1894 Act has not been made yet. The provisions of the new Bill will be applicable even in cases where awards have been made, but no compensation has been paid to the extent that it would have to be paid as per the new rates. The retrospective applicability has been applied on the basis of stage and not date.

This, said members of India Inc, would delay a host of ongoing projects where the land acquisition process is on and partial acquisitions are pending. Projects such as the Navi Mumbai airport, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, multi-modal corridor being implemented in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region and several township and road projects would get affected by this retrospective applicability in terms of time and cost overrun.

"For Navi Mumbai airport, for example, the amount to be paid for acquisition of the remaining 10% of land would now be equivalent to the 90% already acquired,” Niranajan Hiranandani, co-founder and chairman, Hiranandani Group told FE.

“I doubt the government will be able to get the consent of 70% of the affected families for land required for its flagship projects,” Rajeev Talwar, group ED of real estate developer DLF said.

Navi Mumbai International Airport, coming up in the Kopra-Panvel area in the eastern side of MMR, is already faced with delays of several years and cost escalation. It shot up almost three times to over Rs 14,500 crore (in 2011-2012) from the earlier estimated Rs 4,766 crore in 2006-2007.

Most of the escalation has been on account of land acquisition needs and various other cost escalations.

About 450 hectares of private land is yet to be acquired as the project affected persons are asking for allotment of 35 to 40% of the developed land, while the state government is ready to offer 22.5% of the developed land. The matter is still not resolved.

Another project in Mumbai that could face hiccups is the Rs 18,000-crore multi modal corridor running extreme north from Virar to Alibaug, south of MMR.

UPS Madan, metropolitan commissioner, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), said it would be too early to ascertain how the land acquisition Bill would affect this particular

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