UP developers to get land first, to pay later

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jan 23 2010, 06:15am hrs
The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to provide land to the developers without paying the cost initially for building infrastructure projects. The move will fastforward these projects.

The step comes in wake of the hurdles being faced in land acquisition, which have marred the prospects of several infrastructure projects in the state. The cost of the land will be paid by the developer later.

The first two development projects that will act as a litmus test in this experiment are Kushinagar International Airport and the Upper Ganga Canal Expressway.

The state Cabinet has already given its nod to the tourism departments proposal for a Rs 150-crore budgetary loan for acquiring 550 acre for the airport project, which it will hand over to the selected bidder for starting the work.

Land for the other project, the Upper Ganga Canal Expressway, which will be the first inter-state expressway between Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is already available with the state irrigation department, which will again be handed over to developer.

The government has decided to provide land available with the irrigation department without charging anything from the developer initially so that the Upper Ganga Canal Expressway project can take off immediately after the selection of the bidder.

Providing land intially without any cost for a project is again, a unique feature and the thinking behind this is that if we want investors to come forward and develop the state, we must provide them with sweeteners to promote free enterprise, said an official, requesting anonymity.

In fact, not only has the Cabinet already approved the loan for Kushinagar Airport but money has already been released so that land acquisition process can be initiated at the earliest and the project be handed over to the developer by March end.

Apart from this, the developer is likely to receive an additional 250 acre of land.