UP won’t pay more than twice the circle rate for Jewar airport land
Land for the Jewar International Airport will be acquired as per provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 by paying twice the circle rate to nearly 3000 land-owners as the other route of obtaining land through direct negotiation “does not seem to be possible”, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided at a meeting held on July 6.
The government is sticking to its stand that since the 1441 hectares of land for the airport project is notified as an “urban/industrial township”, it will not pay more than twice the circle rate – this could become a flashpoint as villagers in eight villages of the area are demanding four times the circle rate which is a provision for “rural areas”, as per the Land Acquisition Act. In an earlier order in March, the UP government had asked for a parallel process to be carried out to attempt securing land for the airport through direct negotiation, which at times is a cheaper and quicker process, but that process has been junked now. The government now says, after a July 6 meeting, that since 1328 hectares out of 1441 hectares of land required for the project is “private land”, it is not possible to acquire it through direct negotiations with the land-owners. “All land has to be acquired at one rate, unless there will be litigation and in the end, government will have to pay compensation at the maximum rate,” the minutes note.
The Yogi Adityanath government has also decided that the contract to build the airport will only be signed after consent of the owners of at least 70% of the land is secured in writing, as per minutes of a meeting chaired by the UP Chief Secretary on July 6, which ET has accessed. The compensation will also not be distributed till consent of 70% land-owners is secured, the government has ordered. “If any (one) patch of land is not acquired out of the land identified in the master-plan of the airport, the work of the airport cannot start because airport is an enclosed secured area and no boundary wall can be built till the entire land inside it has been acquired. If by any reason any patch of land cannot be acquired, then the airport’s construction will not be possible and the balance acquired land will be of no use,” the meeting’s minutes say. Government is presently carrying out the process to obtain such written consent.