Special provisions to safeguard food security with special reference to Right to Fair Compensation & Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013


What is Land Acquisition?

Land Acquisition refers to the process by which the union or a state government acquires private Land for the purpose of industrialization development of infrastructural facilities or urbanisation of private land 

  Till 2013 ,land acquisition was governed by the Land acquisition Act,1894 but now the act has got a much optimistic view and is now named as The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition ,Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.

It allows the acquisition of Land for some public purpose by a government agency from individual Land owners after paying a government determined compensation to cover the losses incurred by them.

Under the 1894 Act the term public purpose was very ambiguous and was open to uncertain discretion so the Land was usually acquired at thrown away prices in pretend of development projects. Sometimes such projects never started and the same land was sold at higher prices to real estate developers ,without building anything for public purpose . This  in a way exploited the poor was there to stop the process of acquisition . A prescribed having was there but the officials conducting it were not bound to take that view and act upon it. 

Silent on Resettlement and Rehabilitation of those who were displaced-The 1894 act had no any particular provisions that could deal with the resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced populace.


This act of -Right to fair compensation and transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement Act,2013 come into force from 1st January 2014.

The tittle of the old law conveyed that it’s primary purpose was to expedite the acquisition of land .However ,the principle objective the new bill of 2013 conveys is fair compensation for the land taken, resettlement, rehabilitation of those who are affected by the development projects and adequately providing for safeguards for their well-being and a complete transparency in the process.


Safe guarding food security was not a much talked about in the 1894 act, but section 10 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act,2013 deals with special Provisions to safeguard food security.

The Concept of Food Security is a multi-faced one Food is essential for living as air is for breathing two square meals . It has the following dimensions.

  • Availability-It means food production within the country ,food imports and stock stored in government granaries. 
  • Accessibility-It means food is made available to all without any discrimination.
  • Affordability- It implies that having enough money to buy sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet one’s dietary need.

—Thus, food security has to be ensured in a country only when sufficient food is made available for everyone, if everyone has means to purchase food of acceptable quality and if there are no barriers to the access of food, then only we can say that there is food security in India in real senses.


  • Deteriorating soil Health – as 95% of global food production depends upon soil as soil health is degrading day by day because of natural calamities, deforestation, inappropriate use of agrochemicals. About one-third of earth ‘s soil is already degraded.
  • Invasive weed Threats ‐ in the past 15 years . India has faced more than 10 major invasive soil to degrade massively. 
  • Lack of Efficient Management Framework – India lacks a strict management framework for food security. The Public Distribution System (PDS) too faces challenges such as leakages ,diversion of food grains, addition/ exclusion errors , making of fake Ration Cards, weak grievance redressal system etc.
  • Faults in Procurement – Farmers have diverted land from producing coarse grains to producing Rice and wheat Further there lies a tremendous wastage of around E 50,000 G annually by both improper accounting and inadequate storage facilities.
  • Climate Change – Monsoon accounts for 70% of India’s annual rainfall and irrigates 60% of its net sown area. Changing of precipitation patterns due to a tremendous Change in climate such as heatwaves , floods etc. have already contributed to reduced agriculture productivity, posing threat to food security. 
  • Lack of Rehabilitation & Resettlement provisions-The Biggest drawback of Land Acquisition Act,1894 was it was to an extent contributor to creating food crisis as it lacked the provision of Rehabilitation and Resettlement affected families were left jobless, without shelter & food along with posing a major food security as most of the acquired land was multi-cropped.
  • Because of ongoing drawbacks of the 1894  Act ,as many as 50% of acquired land for creating SEZs was still left utilised out of which most of the acquired land was agricultural, in Nature.


Now for eradicating the food security crisis and moving a way forward the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act ,2013 Chapter 3 with only one section 10 that deals with special Provisions to Safeguard food security was added.

Which says that – 

General Rule is that the land that is irrigated and is used to grow multiple crops generally cannot be taken by government under this Act.

But this Section 10 does have the Exceptions that –

  • The Land referred to as irrigated land and used to grow multiple crops as referred above can to be taken in a very special cases/exceptional cases, as a last resort and only if the land that has to be taken does not exceed the certain limit set by government, the limit is set on the basis of specific conditions of a State.
  • If a Multi Cropped or irrigated land is acquired by the government, the government must either make the same amount of unusable land suitable for farming or pay an amount equivalent to the land’s value for agricultural improvements to help with food security.
  • For land that is not multi – cropped or irrigated ,there is also limit on how much agricultural land can be taken in a district or state . This limit is set the government. But this rule does not apply to long ,straight projects like railways, highways and power lines.

Example – A Scenario where a state government in India needs to built a new highway to improves connecting  between two major cities .The proposed highway route passes through a district with extensive irrigated multi-cropped land. According to Sec 10(1) of the Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act ,2013 such a land shall not be acquired.

However, if the government determines that there is no viable alternatives no viable alternatives route that would not in value such fertile land . as exceptional and decides that acquiring that land is the last resort ,Then they ensure that limits set by appropriate government are not exceeded.

Following Section 10(3),to Compensate for the loss of agriculture land, the government either develops an equipment area of cultivable wasteland for agricultural purposes or develop an amount equivalent to the value of the acquired land for investment in enhancing food security.

Moreover the Government adhere to Section 10(4),to ensure that total amount of agricultural land acquired for all projects in district one state does not exceed the notified limits of the total not sown area.

Now a Proviso to the entire section does lies that the provisions of this Sections do not have their effect to the projects that are connected with lines such as Railways, Highways, Roads, Irrigation canals, Electricity lines etc.


Undoubtedly ,as every coin has its two sides the previous Land Acquisition Act,1894 had it’s own drawbacks and to address them the new Land Act by the name of -Right to Fair Compensation & Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 was enacted.

Also, in a Country like India where most of its population is still agriculturally dependent and it’s population count is increasing day and after .There lies need to ensure food security by various ways but the current Land Act ,2013 has contributed it’s bit beautifully by including Chapter 3, that deals specifically with special Provisions to safeguard food security under Section 10 .Which has a general rule that no multi-cropped or irrigated land can be acquired but,as exception lies everywhere, exceptions do are present in the current Section.

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Special provisions to safeguard food security with special reference to Right to Fair Compensation & Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

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