New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) The government is working on amendments to the provisions governing the Petroleum and Mineral Pipelines Act to fix the cost required to be paid for right of the user in laying of pipelines for petroleum and minerals rather than full land acquisition cost.
The issue was discussed at a recent Secretary level meeting held in July chaired by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
The Petroleum Ministry is steering the amendments proposed to Petroleum and Mineral Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User in Land) Amendment Act, 2020.
An important amendment is proposed in the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCTLARR) Act 2013.
Under the P&MP Act 1962, only the RoU is required whereas under the Land Acqusition Act, the land is fully acquired from owner and vests with the government free from all or any encumbrances.
Further without the issuance of RFCTLARR (Removal of difficulties) Order, 2015, the provisions of RFCTLARR Act 2013 related to the determination of compensation were made applicable to all the cases of land acquisition under the enactments specified in the fourth schedule including P&MP Act 1962, leading to legal complications and some
courts are interpreting that the RoU acquisition under the P&MP Act is liable to pay full acquisition compensation rather than just for RoU as originally envisaged.
To resolve the issue, the Petroleum Ministry has proposed to amend Section 18 of PM&P Act to bar the application of RFCTLARR Act 2013 for proceedings under PM&P Act 1962.
It is learnt that the Department of Land Resources has conveyed its agreement to these amendments. It said that the amendments will be prospective in operations and may not have impact on the past litigations pending in various forums.
The Power Ministry has conveyed that it uses the provisions in the Indian Telegraph Act where 15 per cent of the market value is given for the right of use and this system works well.
The DoT also uses the provisions under Indian Telegraph Act. However, it pointed out that there are issues related to fixation of compensation as some of the urban local bodies have demanded a different basis for determining the amount of compensation.
It was decided that the Petroleum Ministry initiate further steps to finalise the amendments in consultation with the Land Resources Department at the earliest. Both the departments should also ensure that pending litigations under P&MP Act, challenging the fixation of compensation in the High Court of Patna and in other legal fora are defended properly.