Acquiring just around 25% of the land required for the Mumbai-Nagpur super communication expressway in six months, the state government increased the compensation by 50% to woo farmers and fast-track chief minister Devendra Fadnavis's pet project. Besides, a new category of farm land has also been added to the compensation list.
The government will now give Rs.75,000 for per hectare of non irrigated land--up from Rs.50,000 earlier-while Rs.1.5 lakh will be given for per hectare of irrigated land (the compensation was Rs.1 lakh previously). A new category of seasonal irrigated land has been created and Rs.1.12 lakh will be given for per hectare of such land. This compensation will be given for 10 years and will increase by 10% every year.
In June when the government had announced the land pooling model to acquire land for the Rs.46,000 crore project, it had said that the compensation would depend on the crop pattern and irrigation facilities available on a plot.
After that, the state government was finding it hard to acquire land as farmers were protesting against the project. The construction of the over 700 km long-highway requires 20,820 hectares of land, which is spread across 344 villages. Most of the land required is agricultural land.So far, less than 5,000 hectares has been acquired.
The MSRDC, which is the implementing agency , has invited global bids for the project, which also aims at creating 28 nodal townships en route. This road also claims to reduce the travelling time between Nagpur and Mumbai to 9-10 hours, from around 16 hours now.