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Monday, 23 May 2016

Karnataka Land Reforms Act amended to enable govt purchase of land for public purposes


BENGALURU: The state Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, on Monday decided to amend the Karnataka Land Reforms Act to enable the government to buy land up to 100 acres for public purpose projects such as construction of drainage, railway over/under bridge, drinking water projects, housing etc. 

According to Law Minister TB Jayachandra , the decision is applicable only to government projects. Government agencies would be able to buy land up to 100 acres at rates as fixed by the price-fixation committee headed by the deputy commissioner of the district. 

The Law Minister said the government was unable to buy even a small portion of farmland due to difficulties imposed by the Land Reforms Act. The amendments will remove difficulties. Former chief secretary Kaushik Basu said it was a good decision as long as the powers are used to buy land for public purposes. "The government should not use this provision to purchase land in the name of public interest, and hand it over to private individuals later," he said. 
ormer revenue department principal secretary V Madhu said this decision was taken to overcome the problems posed by the new Land Acquisition Act under which the government has not been able to acquire land. "The Cabinet decision is only a good temporary measure. Still it is not as good as acquiring land under the Land Acquisition Act which will free the land acquired from all encumbrances". 

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