Kochi: Land acquisition for major developmental projects in the district is suffering in the absence of specially trained officials in the land revenue department.
With large tracts of commercial land required for projects like the Metro Rail and flyovers, land revenue officials need special training to carry out the acquisition, say experts, pointing out that the process has become more complicated owing to skyrocketing land prices in the city.
Currently, land acquisition is underway for over 150 projects in Ernakulam district, the highest in state. “Very precise and scientific surveying is needed for acquisition of commercial land as the land value is very high. Moreover, the landowners are now more aware about the value of land and ask for exorbitant prices,” note experts.
A senior official of the land revenue department admits it is not equipped to undertake land acquisition on a large scale in Ernakulam, especially as the land survey rules are very complicated and the process time consuming.
Also, while the department is short of surveyors , it is deputing some for jobs like resurveying of the Edappally Canal and clearing illegal encroachments, making its job of acquisition even harder.
“Until now the Land Revenue department was not considered a prime office and so has a shortage of staff in all sections.
The RDO and Taluk offices get more experienced and efficient staff . Since new posts can’t be created, a comprehensive change in staff allocation is needed to improve its operations,” says an expert.