Yogi Adityanath govt’s flagship projects need 17,000 hectares of land

As the 2019 Lok Sabha polls are nearing, Yogi Adityanath government has the onerous task of facilitating acquisition of almost 17,300 hectares of land in near future.

These flagship projects include the proposed Purvanchal Expressway and Bundelkhand Defence Corridor, which require about 4,300 and 3,000 hectares respectively adding up to 7,300 hectares alone. The Adityanath government has realised land acquisition was the most vital aspect of any industrial and infrastructure roadmap for ensuring the continuity of project line and flow of finances to developers.

However, the government claims to have acquired almost 93 per cent of land for Purvanchal Expressway, the foundation of which was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday at Azamgarh. Since, the Expressway would be developed as an industrial corridor, the project would need more swathes of land during the development phase and once it becomes operational.

Land acquisition for Defence Corridor is yet to begin, although the state mandarins have said the land had already been identified. Meanwhile, the state government is aiming to complete all the formalities by September and invite the PM for the foundation-laying ceremony. Also, the government is under pressure over adequate land bank for the project, estimated to entail investment of almost Rs 300 billion.

Besides, the government has estimated requirement of 10,000 hectares of land for the various projects proposed during the UP Investors Summit 2018. PM Modi is slated to lay the foundation of about 64 such projects worth Rs 550 billion on July 29 at a big ticket event in Lucknow and the state has started to make quick amends to facilitate faster land acquisition process with the help of private sector.

UP Health Minister and government spokesperson Sidharth Nath Singh said after the Investors Summit, over 10,000 hectares of land was needed for various projects.

Recently, the Adityanath cabinet had approved the policy of setting up of private industrial parks to expedite the process of land acquisition, while promising various incentives like stamp duty and tax waivers.

These private industrial parks would offer the facility of “plug and play” mode to the different industrial units setting up shops there. The incentives include differential subsidy in circle rate, infrastructure loan, developing infrastructure for workers, stamp duty waivers etc.

Last month, the state had eased acquisition of “gram sabha” land for industrial and infrastructure projects as 350 projects were held up owing to the paucity of congruous land. The state cabinet had waived the stipulation of paying four times the prevailing market value/circle rate, for acquiring “gram sabha” land for development projects, under the existing land acquisition norms enforced in 2015.

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