BHOPAL : Town planners of three cities discussed ways to reducing monetary compensation in land acquisition for social development. The emphasis was on maximizing returns on investments by the town and country planning department.

The town planners said that land owned by several people in an area should be taken over by government. They said that owners would give away the land happily if benefits were offered to them.

Vishwanath Sista of Hyderabad said that land marked for developmental projects should be acquired in a way that it convinces the owners that their area will be developed and remaining portion of their land will provide them hefty returns. Returns are maximized if an area is developed and those living nearby along with land owners reap its benefit, he added.

Convincing the people that their land will help them reap benefit in future is a better idea than simply acquiring it by giving away money is what planner from Gujarat Rajesh Rawal said.

Avinash Patil from Pune said that the encroachment free city is a must for development. He cited instances in his city where encroachment was demolished though the offender was an influential person.

Principal Secretary of urban administration Vivek Agrawal said that difference between planers and implementers should be reduced. Stress was laid on role of planners as planner needs permission of a non-technical person for issuance of a completion certificate. Director of town and country planning Swati Meena said that rules should be made flexible for a better growth in urban space.

She said that a lot needs to be done for development in urban areas so that every one has equal opportunity for development.

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