Authority to acquire land in 10 daysThe National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has planned to complete the acquisition of land for the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged properties
The National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has planned to complete the acquisition of land for the reconstruction of earthquake-damaged properties and rehabilitation of the affected population within 10 days if the proposed working procedure is approved by the Cabinet.
Since the current land acquisition process is very lengthy and has resulted in many priority development projects being delayed, the Ordinance on Reconstruction states that the existing laws on land acquisition, land registration, public procurement and environment impact assessment will not be applicable for the purpose of reconstruction.
The ordinance has authorized the government to implement a separate working procedure in the quake-affected areas for reconstruction.
The draft Working Procedure on Acquisition of Land for Earthquake Affected Structures states that the owner of the land marked for acquisition will get 10 days’ notice after the reconstruction project submits an acquisition proposal to the chief executive officer (CEO) of the NRA.
If no written response is received against the land acquisition within the deadline, the CEO should acquire the land, according to the working procedure. The notice of land acquisition should then be given to the landowner within seven days.
In order to acquire land, the project chief has to clearly mention the reason for the need for acquisition, details about whether the house and wall should also be acquired, the name of the village development committee (VDC) or the municipality, ward number, plot number, plot area and other necessary information.
If the landowner is not satisfied with the CEO’s decision, he or she can submit an application to the authority explaining the reason within 10 days after the written notice is received. The authority must reach a decision on the application within another 10 days. The project chief can acquire the land at any time if the authority decides that the owner’s claim is not justified.
According to the working procedure, its provisions will only be applicable to reconstruction in the quake-affected areas and resettlement of quake-affected persons and families. Once the land is acquired, it will be registered as government property.
The authority will compensate the owner of the land based on the recommendation of the Compensation Determination Committee headed by the chief district officer (CDO). The panel will also include the chief of the Land Revenue Office, an officer of the authority, the chief of the concerned municipality or VDC or the executive chief of the municipality or the VDC secretary and the project chief.
The working procedure states that the committee should determine the compensation amount based on the market price of land at the location, losses that the owner will suffer, status of the road, drinking water, electricity and communication facilities and whether the landowner has to be shifted to another place for settlement and conducting business.
A landowner not satisfied with the compensation amount can submit an application to the authority within 15 days by mentioning the reasons, and the authority has to reach a decision within seven days after receiving the application.
If the authority finds that the compensation amount is not justified, it can direct the Compensation Determination Committee to re-determine the compensation amount, and the committee has to do so within seven days after receiving the instruction from the authority.
If the acquired land is not used for the purpose intended, the landowner can get it back by returning the compensation amount. The owner of the land that has been acquired has to be paid the compensation amount within 60 days after the acquisition notice is issued.
If the landowner does not receive the compensation amount, the project chief should hand over the money to the office of the authority. The authority will then give the landowner another three months to receive the amount. If the landowner still does receive the compensation amount, he or she will not get anything and the money will be deposited into the government’s account.
The working procedure has also provisioned that the authority can return the land acquired to the landowner. It says that the government should given priority to providing land in exchange instead of paying cash in compensation. Government land lying unused could be given in exchange to the landowner, according to the working procedure.
If public land is also received during the land acquisition, such lands will be kept for public use. If it is not appropriate to keep public land as it is from the security point of view, another piece of public land should be allocated in another place within the project area.
- Its provisions will only be applicable to reconstruction in the quake-affected areas.
- The authority will compensate the owner of the land based on the recommendation of the Compensation Determination Committee headed by the chief district officer.
- The owner of the land that has been acquired has to be paid the compensation amount within 60 days after the acquisition notice is issued.
- The government should given priority to providing land in exchange instead of paying cash in compensation.
- The working procedure has also provisioned that the authority can return the land acquired to the landowner.