Dual compensation package for landowners introduced in new power tower policy

Originally posted in The Financial Express on 18 February 2022

Pay for land and crops both if to construct power tower, an updated government policy says about compensation to the landowner concerned.

The government has amended the Power Rules 2020 to specify the process of compensation to the landowners on construction of power towers, making such provision for dual compensation package.

Compensation for land lease has to be given at a ‘regular market price’, as determined in the amended rules, issued recently by the Power Division under the Ministry of Power Energy and Mineral Resources.

Talking to the FE, Power Division Secretary Md Habibur Rahman said earlier landowners could claim compensation for their crops only in case of construction of power towers.

“We have included compensation for land, too, and specified the demanding process in detail amending the rules,” he adds.

The amended rule would help in implementation of the Power Act 2018.

Any individual having licence for power generation, supply and distribution from Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission can construct power tower.

For determining ‘regular market price’, the licensee will take last 12 months’ average value of similar types of land, having similar facilities, in that area or vicinity.

The licensee will be able to start construction of the power tower after payment of compensation. He will have to deposit the amount to the Deputy Commissioner of that area.

The amount of compensation would be kept deposited to the DC in case of any dispute or confusion arises regarding distribution of the share of the compensation.

The rule has given some prescribed format to estimate compensation, give notice on use of the land, provide compensation etc.

The power secretary says usually land cannot produce crop after construction of power towers.

“The Power Act had incorporated the compensation for land too in 2018 but process of providing it was not specified,” he adds.

He says land ownership would not be affected but owners would get compensation for power-tower construction.

The process of compensation would be similar to land acquisition, he adds.

There were no formats how farmers would get the compensation, open bank accounts, what they would do in case of any dispute regarding use of land, he notes about the change.