Policy for Procurement of land for residential sites

Basavaraju R, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Balasubramaniam
Community consultation team: Dr. Siddappa, Prakash. M, Harish, Mahesh and Ravi
Sector: Policy analysis

Government of Karnataka has taken several measures to ensure housing benefits to the deserving population both in rural and urban areas. The government is implementing a housing scheme with the support of The Government of India and its own independent schemes. It is necessary for the beneficiaries to possess their own residential sites to get the benefit of the scheme. However, the families living in acute condition of poverty, normally, will not be having sites and are generally left out from the scheme. This further worsens the disadvantage and is likely to render them perpetually shelter less.

Considering the above situation, the government is implementing Ashraya residential site scheme in rural areas and Vajapeyi residential site scheme in urban areas. Under these schemes, residential sites can be provided using the available government land. In case of non-availability of government land, provision has been made to buy required land from land owners.

But, authorities are facing challenges to procure required proportion of land due to the following reasons:

  • The rate fixed by the government is different from actual market rate.
  • The market rate varies from one taluk to another and sometimes within the taluk.
  • The land suitable for residential sites is much costlier than other lands, whereas guideline value does not differentiate between them.
  • There is little or no scope for involvement of beneficiary in purchase of land and making beneficiary contribution for purchase of land/sites.

Hence, Rajiv Gandhi Rural Housing Corporation (RGRHC) proposed to come out with a new land acquisition policy. RGRHC approached Grassroots Research And Advocacy Movement (GRAAM) for taking up the assignment to provide a draft policy.

The objective of the assignment was to undertake a review of housing and land acquisition policy in India and to draft a policy for land acquisition for residential sites in Karnataka.

Approach

GRAAM followed a consultative and participatory approach to prepare the policy.

Review of existing policy/guidelines in the state and country

GRAAM reviewed the existing policy and guidelines being practiced by the corporation.

Other similar policies and related policies with respect to land acquisition, housing, panchayat raj, urban local bodies, etc. were also reviewed to understand various provisions and clauses that affect land acquisitions/procurement and to ensure that the proposed policy be consistent with the other policies.

Understanding bottlenecks for implementing existing policy

Efforts were made to analyze and understand the bottlenecks for acquisition of land for the said purpose. This was to be done through the following process.

  • Discussion with the state level personnel of the corporation
  • Discussion with the implementation level personnel

Community Consultation

Community consultations was done to understand the grassroots level problems, people’s requirements and the challenges faced by them to get the benefits of housing schemes. Also, sample check of beneficiaries who have obtained sites from the corporation was done to understand:

  • Challenges for purchasing the sites
  • Preference of the beneficiaries: Locations of sites, expectations, requirements, etc
  • Status of sites distributed and its utilization

Discussion was also held with elected representatives of the Panchayat Raj institutions and Urban Local Bodies.

Community consultation was done in 10 locations spread across 10 districts in the state of Karnataka. More districts from the north Karnataka region were chosen as the implementation of the scheme had made less progress compared to the southern region.

Also, 100 beneficiaries/community members were interviewed to understand the challenges and processes they had gone through while obtaining the benefit.

Developing the draft policy

The initial policy draft following the literature review, consultative and data collection process was submitted to the corporation. The draft was presented to the expert committee constituted by the Government having expertise in revenue and land records, urban development and housing issues. The draft policy was presented to the committee to solicit feedback and appropriate changes were made.

The final draft was submitted to the Government in the month of April 2015. The Government is expected to notify the draft policy and solicit response from stakeholders.

Koppal ahead of others in facilitating housing schemes for the vulnerable populations

GRAAM did a series of community and other stakeholder consultations for supporting the review of Housing and Land Acquisition Policy of the state in the months of September and October 2014.

After interactions spread across 20 taluks in 10 districts, which also involved consultations with 12 rural and 7 urban local institutions, our Community Consultation Team sensed that Koppal has gone the extra mile in extending facilities to the marginalized communities by granting them housing sites and supporting them for constructing houses on them. Local institutions of Bhagyanagar, Kushtagi and Banapura have used various schemes for facilitating this. Other such encouraging experiences were found only at Inchagari in Bijapur (Vijayapura) district and Belapu in Udupi district.

Voice from community

As Hasansaab Kari belonging to Budagajangama community at Kushtagi poignantly expressed:

“ನಾವುಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ಅಲೆಮಾರಿ ಜನರೀ ಯಪ್ಪಾ… ಸೀಜನ್ನದಾಗ ಊರೂರು ಅಲೆದಾಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಕಣ್ ಕಟ್ ವಿದ್ಯಾ ತೋರಿಸಿ, ಹಾವುಗಳ್ನ ಆಡಿಸಿ ಭಿಕ್ಷೆ ಬೇಡಿಕೊಂಡು ಬಂದು ಜೀವನಾ ನಡಿಸ್ತಿದ್ವಿ. ಇದೇ ಹುಟ್ಟಿ-ಬೆಳೆದ ಸ್ವಂತ ಊರು, ಇರಾಕ ಮನಿ ಇಲ್ದಿದ್ದರೂ, ಇಲ್ಲೇ ಬಂದು ಊರ ಹೊರಗಿನ ಬಯಲಿನಲ್ಲೋ, ಆಟದ ಮೈದಾನದ ಬಾಜುನಲ್ಲೋ ಟೆಂಟ್ ಹಾಕ್ಕೊಂಡು ಜೀವ್ನಾ ಸಾಗಿಸ್ತಿದ್ವು ಬುದ್ಧಿ. ಈಗ ಈ ಮುನ್ಸಿಪಾಲ್ಟಿನೋರು ನಮಗ ಸೈಟ್ ಕೊಟ್ಟು ಮನೀನೂ ಕಟ್ಟಿ ಕೊಟ್ರು…ಈಗ ಆರಾಮಾಗಿ ಮಕ್ಕಳನ್ನೆಲ್ಲ ಓದ್ಸಿ ಇದ್ಯಾವಂತರ್ನಾಗಿ ಮಾಡ್ತೇವು.”

[Translation: “Sir, we are gypsies. We earn our livelihood every season by showing tricks and snakes. We keep moving from one place to another. This is our native; we have been born and bought up here. We did not have own houses to live. We used to put our tents in the open spaces and playgrounds normally. The municipality people have given us sites and helped us build houses under government schemes. We are now able to live happily. We also send our children to schools and educate them.”]