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Pakistan (2019)

Two legal instruments are used for temporary use of land for construction of transmission lines, i.e. Telegraph Act (1885) and WAPDA Act (1958) that provide the framework for access and use of land for the DTL. 


Telegraph Act 1885

This law was enacted to define the authority and responsibility of the Telegraph authority. under this Act, the land required for the towers is not acquired from the owner, not the title of the land transferred. compensation is only paid to the owner for nay structure, crop or tree that exists on the land. NTDC has been installing the transmission lines and their towers, and determining the associated compensation on the basis of this Act. 


The Constitution of Pakistan

There are two key articles provided in the Constitution of Pakistan that relate to land acquisition and resettlement. Article 23 of the constitution establishes the right of every citizen to acquire, hold and dispose of his or her property in any part of Pakistan and Article 24 of the constitution relates to the protection of property rights and has direct relevance to the Project. Its first two clauses are:

¡  No person shall be compulsorily deprived of his property save in accordance with law.

¡  No property shall be compulsorily acquired or possession taken except for in the case of a public purpose, and only by the authority of law which provides for compensation. The authority of law will either fix the amount of compensation or specify the principles on and the manner in which compensation is to be determined and given.

These clauses forms the basis of the law formulated under the constitution for acquisition of property for public purposes. 


AJ&K Interim Constitution Act of 1974 and Land Acquisition Rules 1894

In Pakistan-administered Kashmir property rights are protected under Section 4(4) of the AJ&K Interim Constitution Act of 1974, whereby property cannot be compulsorily acquired except for a public purpose and by an authority of law that provides compensation thereof. The land acquisition rules are materially similar to those described in the section below. 


Land Acquisition Act (LAA) 1894

The Government of Pakistan’s current legislation governing land acquisition for public purposes is the Land Acquisition Act (LAA) of 1894 with successive amendments. The LAA regulates the land acquisition process and enables the Federal and Provincial Governments to acquire private land for public purposes. The LAA comprises 55 Sections pertaining to: area notifications and surveys, acquisition, compensation and apportionment of awards, dispute resolution, penalties and exemptions. The table below provides a summary of the salient sections of the LAA.


Table :     Salient features of the LAA 1894 and its successive amendments

Section 4: Publication of a preliminary notification (called a Section 4) in the official Gazette This notice will give appointed officers the power to enter land for the purposes of conducting surveys and other tests.

Section 5: Formal notification of land needed for a public purpose. Land Demarcation. Survey of affected persons assets. Affected persons may raise objections in writing to the Collector within 30 days of notification under section 5.

Section 5-A: Section 5a covering the need for enquiry. Stakeholder consultations.

Section 6: The Government makes a more formal declaration of intent to acquire land. Stakeholders consultations, DPAC assessment of rates

Section 7: The Land Commissioner shall direct the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) to take order the acquisition of the land.

Section 8: The LAC has then to direct which land is required to be physically marked out, measured and planned.

Section 9: The LAC gives notice to all PAPs that the Government intends to take possession of the land and if they have any claims for compensation then these claims are to be made to the LAC at an appointed time.

Section 10: Delegates power to the LAC to record statements of PAPs in the area of land to be acquired or any part thereof as co-proprietor, sub-proprietor, mortgagee, and tenant or otherwise.

Section 11: Enables the Collector to make enquiries into the measurements, value and claim and then to issue the final “award". The award includes the land's marked area and the valuation of compensation.

Section 16: When the LAC has made an award under Section 11, the LAC will then take possession and the land shall thereupon belong to the Government, free from all encumbrances.

Section 17: In cases of urgency, whenever the Government can take possession of any land needed for public purposes or for a Company. Such land shall thereupon belong to the Government, free from all encumbrances

Section 18: In case of dissatisfaction with the award PAPs may request the LAC to refer the case onward to the court for decision. This does not affect taking possession of the land

Section 23: The award of compensation for the owners for acquired land is determined at its market value plus 15% in view of compulsory nature of the acquisition for public purposes.

Section 28: Relates to the determination of compensation values and interest premium for land acquisition

Section 31: Provides that the LAC can, instead of awarding cash compensation in respect of any land, make any arrangement with a person having an interest in such land, including the grant of other lands in exchange


LAA - Land Ownership and Records

If occupants, who claim to be land owners, do not have any written tenancy agreement the LAA provides that confirmation on land possession can be provided by a court of law. This is common practice in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and accepted by the local administration, in particular, the Revenue Department and the Patwaris. 


LAA - Public Notification Regarding Cut-off-Date

The LAA requires a public notification of the ‘Cut-off-Date’, once the need for land acquisition of a project has been established. Besides restricting any further development on the notified land, it authorises the government functionaries to:

  • Enter and survey the land; including inspection of cadastral objects and their measurement

  • Dig or bore into the subsoil for assessing the soil quality

  • Set out boundaries of the land proposed to be acquired

  • Mark levels, boundaries and lines by placing marks and cutting trenches

  • Cut down crop, fence or jungle, under the conditions that a proper survey cannot be performed or completed without this action.


The LAA also requires that the project provides the land occupier with at least seven days’ notice in writing to inform the household of the intention to survey the land and residential properties.

Under the Draft Project Implementation and Resettlement Ordinance 2001, the Director General of Projects is duty-bound to issue and specify the cut-off date for alienation of property in the project area.

LAA - Procedure in the Field

Although LAA does not make mention of a particular person or governmental body to carry out the measurement of the land, in this particular case the required cadastral survey will be conducted by Revenue Department in collaboration with KPCL.

Information on the boundaries and sizes of plots and houses and other structures will be collected from owners by the Revenue Department officials in association with KPCL. The related cadastral elements will be investigated in the field and verified by the Revenue Department and KPCL. Where the land has never been used for dwelling or cultivation, the compensation criterion to be applied would be as explained under Section 6 of LAA. 


LAA - Grievance Redress

Grievance redress is prescribed both in LAA (1894) and the Draft Resettlement Ordinance (2002). Accordingly, affected persons not satisfied with any aspect of the resettlement procedure including entitlement to compensation, compensation of land, compensation of houses and land acquisition will have the right to file a petition against the sponsor KPCL in the higher courts. 

If an affected person is not satisfied with the outcome of their grievance, they will have the right to approach the concerned Court of Law (per Section 18 of LAA). 


Power Policy 2002 

The Project is being developed under the Power Policy 2002. Under this policy, the company is committed to commence all the civil works only after implementation of the RAP (full payment of compensation, completion of relocation measures, if any, and livelihood measures in place).


Procedures for Registering Properties

Typically, registering property requires six procedures, takes 50 days and costs 7.6% of the property value.

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