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Compensation for Land Acquisition: A Case of Hydroponics Farm*

ET Cases - FLAME, 7 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Shubham Chauhan, PGP Real Estate and Urban Infrastructure, NICMAR Pune and Prof. Priyanka Bendigiri, Asst. Professor, NICMAR Pune

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Compensation for Land Acquisition: A Case of Hydroponics Farm

It has always been an observation that controversies, protests and violence have marred land acquisition projects in India. Relocation of lives and livelihood from the soil of their martyrs to some other downtown which needed a new start and inappropriate compensation were primary reasons for the protests of farmers who had to surrender their lands. Land owners in Barmer district also faced a similar situation.

In the late 2000’s, farmers at Barmer identified the amplified demand for the local shrubs which were used for making beverages and some drug manufacturing. The resultant increased business prospect also raised the demand for new pavements. A detailed Project report for the nearest feasible highway connectivity was developed to provide access to nearby markets, which led to analogous protest by the farmers suffering Eminent Domain1. Nirmala Devi, 48, a social activist working for Human Rights and Women Empowerment in the rural regions of South-West Rajasthan, came up with a different idea for compensating farmers affected by the land acquisition.

The upshot of the process exponentially led to the socio-economic development of not only the victims, but to the whole region. Average income of the people was found doubled in few years, and great improvement in their quality of life and standards of living, which was unlike the outcome of other acquisitions.....

A Case of Alternative Land Compensation

In regions of Barmer District, Rajasthan, farmers were usually able to take only one crop cycle annually, cultivating their farms through watershed management. Proposed highway project was planned on the current mud macadam, the only way to reach the markets of Barmer District. But very soon, the new plans were passed, crossing by the lands of local Minister stating that “the development of bypass road project will avoid traffic troubles and also ensures safety of children in the locality”.

As it was passing from all the new way, several land owners protested to give up their soil for the unjust reason. Corrupt panchayat was also not able to justify the reason for the diverted pavement. Bucketful of petitions and date by date extensions finally ended with the verdict of Rajasthan High Court in favor of the requiring bodies. Compulsory surrender led to the disposal of half of their holdings and the standing crop of the season..............

Potential of Hydroponics Farming

Hydroponics farming is the innovation in the farming industry which can grow plants without the use of soil. Nutrient rich water with controlled pH is supplied through systems which also reduces water consumption and use of fertilizers than what is used in conventional farming methods. Generally these hydroponics farms are dedicated (covered) spaces with all the supporting systems like lighting, plumbing, vertical supports with horizontally layered racks, fish tanks, etc. These farms can operate 24/7 with increased productivity and without any effect of any change in weather because of their closed structure and moisture control systems. Also, it can increase the produce by multiple times per unit area, because of multilayer structure ...........


Annexure I: Land Acquisition problems under PPP Model Projects

Annexure II: Cases after Land Acquisition

Annexure III: A Comparison between Mega Projects

Teaching Note Preview

Compensation for Land Acquisition: A Case of Hydroponics Farm


Development of new infrastructure was, is and will always be the need of growing population with an increased greed for comfort. Authorities never have the sufficient land available at the suitable location for the purpose, which always has to deal with the acquisition of Real Estate from the land owners. Though several provisions have been formulated, yet, seldom the beneficiaries are satisfied by the compensation. Also, the political powers have a high influence on the location of development based on their profits.

Hydroponics farms are developed such that there is no use of soil, and the plants get nourished through nutrients in water and source of light. To reduce the space constraints, they can also be developed in multi-layered structure and special lightings are provided for photosynthesis. Covered structure makes these farms resistant to unsuitable weather conditions and also enables to produce the seasonal eatables whole year by the gift of technology. Also, the eatables grown utilize much less water and fertilizers than the conventional farming methods, so are organic and healthier to eat. Hydroponics is a bounty for the drought-prone areas and also to the countrymen in the era of Global Warming. This case majorly focuses on minimizing the disturbances in the life of the affected people by replacing their lands with multi-storied farms which leads to a more win-win situation for both, the authorities and the land owners.


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Product code: STG-2-0067, STG-2-0067A


Land acquisition has always been a tedious process for the authorities to carry on a new development project. Land owners never get satisfied with what they get in exchange of their soil. Also, high cathexis of these poor owners because of their soil’s ancestral values makes it more difficult for these authorities to make satisfactory compensation and thus unable to move ahead. In this case, hypothetical conditions are drafted which tend to reengineer the concept of traditional Land Acquisition Methods. Rather, many acts and reforms have been casted under the legal framework of Indian judiciary, yet hardly anyone gets unbiased satisfactory compensation. In many cases, it has been observed that the compensation to the owners is below par, which leads to the subsequent downfall of the society in that region. Also, even after acquisition, many projects get cancelled/failed which ends up as the grassland for cattle. Motive of the case is only to develop a new concept to acquire the lands in a more win-win situation for both the participants. This case also encourages the scope of research on the financial and socio-economic aspects of compensation strategy for the purpose.

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To improve conventional ways of Land Acquisition
  • To discover and formulate new compensation strategies

Case Positioning and Setting

This case can be used for teaching at Post Graduate Level, applicable in the following courses/areas:

  • Land Acquisition
  • Real Estate Principles
  • Strategy and Policy Management
  • Infrastructure Finance

* 4th FLAME International Conference on Research and Teaching Cases, June 21st 2018 & June 22nd 2018

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