Skip to main content

Nitin Gadkari justifies land bill, says acquisitions have made both industrialists and farmers "happy"

By Our Representative
Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has asserted that, thanks to industrialization in India, land prices have zoomed and farmers are "willing to give up their land", living happily thereafter. One who has emerged as the most vocal advocate of the Land Acquisition Bill, currently pending Rajya Sabha nod to be turned into an Act, the top minister says, "Those who are giving up their land are happy and the ones acquiring them are also happy."
Speaking in one of the most comprehensive interviews on the land bill in the recent past, he says, the controversy around the land bill is sought to be triggered by those who have nothing to do with land. He believes, "There is not a single thing in the new Bill that is against the farmer", one reason why, he suggests, if by April 5, the bill lapses without being passed in the Rajya Sabha, the ordinance might be repromulgated to allow it remain a law for six more months.
Described as "the key strategist" in Parliament and outside on the land bill, speaking on its "advantages", Gadkari points to reasons why his government decided to drop social impact assessment (SIA) and consent. According to him, in the earlier Act of 2013, which the Bill is seeking to replace, for instance, even to build a dam in an area of 3,000 acres one had to take the consent of 80 per cent of the farmers, "which is impossible".
He says, consent would merely deprive farmers of the irrigation facilities on, say, 3 lakh hectares, leading to the possibility that they might "commit suicide". He adds, As for industrial corridors, which too are out of SIA and consent clauses, because, according to him, if the consent clause remains, "no development can happen." The industrial corridor between Mumbai and Delhi would need industrialization, which would only help "development".
Talking on no need for consent, he says, "For example, your area doesn’t have parking space. As a minister, I decide to widen the road. To widen the road, I need to bring down your building. Will your management give the consent to demolish the building? The consent clause is against farmers’ interest. Don’t you need schools in villages? Don’t you need hospitals, transformers, electricity in villages? You need irrigation, you need canals. If you don’t give land for rural infrastructure, how will villages progress?"
Rejecting the perception that industrialists want land to for only speculation, Gadkari, "No industrialist comes to the government for land acquisition. Reliance needed land in Navi Mumbai for an SEZ. They paid 1.5 times the market rate and got it. People used to come to us, requesting us to ask Reliance to buy their land. No industrialist, no private university owner comes to the government for land. They first acquire 300 acres and then come to the government, requesting for land use to be changed."
And why was there an opposition to the land bill within the Sangh Parivar? Says Gadkari, this happened because the Bill was early "only in English, which was hard for several of our MPs to understand." He adds, "Several MPs came to me after reports said that the proposed changes were against farmers. The PM asked me to speak to them in Hindi. I did that."
Pointing towards how the land ordinance has helped over the last six months to quicken up project, Gadkari says, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) had "189 projects costing Rs 3,80,000 crore. Of these, roughly 100 projects had land-related problems, which have been solved. There were 40 projects that could not be started and in 99 per cent cases, the reason was the government -- Centre and states -- land acquisition."

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”