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CHAPTER XIV ACQUESTION OF LAND FOR PUBLIC PUSPOSES

456.    Advanatages and disadvanteges of acquestion by the private agreement - Land which is required for the public purposes must be taken up through the collector if the provision for compulsory acquestion contained in the act I 1894 are put inforce. But engineers or the other officers of government who have obtained permission from the head of there own department, can endeaviur to arrange for the purchase of land private agreement, and in such cases deputy commissioner’s out to supply them with perliminary estimates of value just as they would do in case in which it was proposed to make use as of the act. But they must not carry on private negotitiations for any other department unless of the department acquiring the land has itself failed to acquire land by such negotations. The advatage of the voluntry agreement is that the addition of fifteen per cent to the market price, which the act allows as a solatium for the compulsory  nature of the transaction, is saved. On the other hand under the statutory procedure therei perhaps less risk of an extravagant valuation and comliance with the necessary for malities ensure the vesting of the land “absolutely in the government free of all encumbrance.” Where there is a faintest doubt regarding the title of the person in person in possession, or where there is any reason of the fear that the land may be encumbered to an unknown extent, private negotation is out of the jab there is often no danger, at least in localities where the land tenure is of latent defects of title. Where this is the case restore may be had to purchase by private agreement if ir is likely to result in any appreciable saving to time or money.

457.    Plan and perliminiary estimate of cost. Whatever be the procedure proposed, the first step to be taken is the preparaation of a proper paln of the land by so officer  of the department which wishes to acquire it. Ordinararly the landowners will raise of objection to this entring on their land and doing whatever is necessary for that propsose. The act however, did not allow for an opportunty to be given to a person whose land was to be acquired to protest that the porpose for which acquestion was bein gordered was not fact a public purpose. To provide for this an amending act no. XXXVIII of 1928, was passed. The effect of this act is that a perliminiary notifiaction under section 4 is now essential in every case and provision for the lodgenment of objections against any proposed acquestion with in a period of thirty days. But if they do a notifiaction stating that the land is likely to be required for public purposes must be issued in the gazette. When this has appeared, and the deputy commissioner has publiced it locally, any officer authorised by government may enter on the land any survery it. If any demage is done to be land or the crops in the process, he must offer compentation to the landowners. If it is not accepted he must refer them to be deputy commissioner, who decision is final having made his plan, he must obtain form the deputy commissioner data for a perliminiary estaimate of the cost of acquiring the land. All that the district officer expected to give at this stage is the ordinary rate per acre which land of the description fetches in the neighberhood and a rough valuation of the trees building extra.

458.    Procedure in cases if purchase by private agreement - The procedure to be followed after the perliminiary estaimate has been sanctioned by competent authority in cases in which purchase by private agreement is preferred to compulsory acquestion is laid down in paragrah 21-27 of financial commissioner standing order no. 28.

459.    Perliminary action in case of cumpulsory acquisition - If the better course appears to be to proceed under the act, a notification is published in the gazette stating that the land is required for a public purpose and directing the deputy commissionor to take order for its acquistion. If the area is very large, a special officer is usually invested with the necessary powers and employed instead of the deputy commissioner.

460.    Nature of enquiry made by collector - The enquiry which th ecollector has to make in these cases relates to three points, each of which must be dealt with in his award. He must determine-

(a)    the true area of the land of each class,

(b)   the amount of compensation due, and

(c)    the appointment of the compensation among the persons interested.

461.    Demarcation of land. The first step is to have the land marked out and measured through the tahsildar. The existance of small discrepancies between the areas and the descriptions of land as found by the tahsildar and as stated in the notification is no reason for staying proceedings.

462.    Notice to parties interested. A general notice is next given to all persons interested in the land to appear before the collector on a certain date and to state the nature of their respective interests and the amount of compensation which they claim.

463.    Tahsildar’s report. Before the time fixed for the hearing, the collocror should receive from the tahsildar a khasra or filed register and a statement of holdings. In these statement particulars are given as to the areas, the rent, and the revenue of the land, and the trees, crops, wells, and buildings on it, and the estimated value of the last four items. The tahsildar also furnishes a report giving the chief date from which the market value of the land can be deduced, and his own opinion as to its proper price. The data of course include figures relating to any recent purchases of land by government course include figures relating to any recent purchases of land government or private persons on the same village or neighbourhood. Information regarding the latter can be obtained from the mutation registers and from  the books in the office of the sub-register, who is usually either the tahsildar himself ir a non-official working at the headquartes of the tahsil. In using the prices stated in deeds of sale it must not call for reports from patwaris or kanungos as to the value of the land. In forming his own opinion he must take into account the matters which the act required the collector to consider in fixing amount of compensation, and must disregard those which it directs the collector to disregared.

464.    Reperesntation by departmental officer. It is important that the local officer who represents the department for which the land is being acquired should have ample opportunity to make any represented he thinks fit as to its market value.the instructions in paragraphs 38-39 of financial commissioner standing order no. 28 provide for this. Any representation he may make personally or by agent or in writing should receive careful consideration. But the collector must avoid all correspondence with him on the subject of the award, he must not inform him of the compensation he proposes to assess until the award has been pronounced.

465.    Examinatin of parties. A little trouble taken before the right holders before him will put the collector in a position to deal promptly with their objections, and by questioning them to clear up any points. Which the tahsildar’s report has left in doubt. A brief enquiry regarding any claims for compensation which they present will usually be enough to show in what respects if any his own perliminary estaimate of compensation requires to be modified.

466.    Preparation for hearing of case. Before the hearing of the case the collector ought to have studied the tahsildar’s report and to have estimated the compensation which appears to be suitable. The tahsildar’s data as to the prices paid for other land required by government can be checked by referring to th register of lands taken up for public purposes maintained in every district office. If the last settlement of the distirct is at all recent , valuable information as to the market value of land of different kinds is sure to be found in the tahsil assessment report.

467.    Award. The next step is to record and announce the award. All posible care must be taken in framiing it,for, as far as government is concerned, it cannot be questioned. The record will as a rule enable the collector to determine at once the first matter for decesion, namely, the true area of the land of each class to be acquired.

468.    Market value of land. In deciding he next point, the amount of compensation due, he has in the first flace to settle what the market value of the land is land to add to it 15 percent on account of compulsory acquisition.  If he finds the amount to be much in excess of the preliminary estinate referred to in paragraph 465, he should refan from making an award and ask for further instruction.

469.    Consequential damages. He must consider the persons interested in the land to be taken up have any claim for consequential

(a)    loss of standing crops or trees(section 23(1), second sub-head)

(b)   damage to other land of theright holder by the taking up if the land required (section 23(1), third and fourth sub-heads)

as the owner will rlieved of th eobligation to pay land revenue and cases, the demand of the harvest under these heads should be deducted from any compensation awarded for crops.

470.    Damage to other land of rihgt-holder. Under the second head difficult questions arise. If, for example, a canal is carried through the heart of a village, the fields on one side ir the other are cut off from the homestead. To reach land which in a direct line is only distanbt a few hundred yards may involve the taking of ploughs and cattle three or four miles around. It is not always feasible to build a second adadi acriss the canal. The land may all be cultivated, or none of it may be common property. Again, if an embanked road or a canal distributary is carried through the fields attached to a well, and the area which ir can command is thereby dimished, the capital sunk in its construction may cease to yield any return to thelandowner. It is difficult for th epeople whi suffer to believe that a slight deviation from a strainght line, which would have saved themselves much trouble, could not have been made. No wise man will do anything to foster the idea that the administration wirks with the unsympathetic rigour of a piece f machniry, for this reason, and to avoid the expenses of consequential damages, governemnet has made consulting engineers and the local revenue officers responsible that in qzquiring land for railwys the fullest consideration is given to the convience of the landowners, and has ordered slight alteration in the alignment tobe made, where this is feasible, if annoyance to the people can be thereby obviated(govt.  of india circular no. iv-railway, dated 4th september, 1897) strrict orders exist on the irrigation department forbidding the excavation of canal water course thrighland belonging to a well “until-suitable pipe, culvert, or syphon is competed and the cultivatin of the alignment, which would be cinvenient to the properties, would diminish the usefulness or seriously increase the cost of  the work. It is the more desirable to avoid claims for consequential damages where possible be cause it is a matter of great difficulty to calculate the compensation which si fairly due.(if reasonable claims are made under the head of severance, government amy direct the collector to acquire the whole of  the objector’s land49(2))

 

471.    Matters to be excluded from sonsidertion in estimating market value. In estamating market value, the condition of thalnd as it was at the tine the notifiacation was issued declaring it to be required for a public purpose must alone be taken into account. tHe urgency of the need government nothing to do with the question(section 24, first and second heads) the latter, whether it is great or small must be taken as paid fir by the grant of fifteen percent over and abpve the market value. The fact that the use to which the land is to be put will imcrese the value of other land belonging to the right-holder is quite immaterial(section 24, sixth head) and so is any damage he may sustain which, if causes by a private person, would not be a ground for a civil action(section 24,third head)

 

472.    Cancelled.

Hon'ble Revenue Minister

Hon'ble Minister-In-Charge
Shri. Gurpreet Singh Kangar

 


 

Special Chief Secretary, Department of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Disaster Mangement
Shri. Karan Bir Singh Sidhu, IAS

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