Skip to main content

Govt of India wants to "reduce" land acquisition Act into compensation granting mechanism

By Our Representative
One of the world's most influential NGOs, Oxfam, taking strong exception to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) ordinance, which was hurriedly brought in to replace the LARR Act late last year, has asked the Government of India to roll it back immediately. The ordinance is now being sought to be replaced by an amendment law by the Modi government.
Headquartered in UK, Oxfam in a recent note has said, “By undoing the applicability of the LARR law on critical sectors where the largest amount of land acquisition is taking place, like industrial corridors or mines, the 2014 ordinance reduces the law to a compensation granting mechanism.”
Currently before Parliament for nod, Oxfam says, the LARR ordinance has especially done away with the processes such as social impact assessment (SIA) which was a significant gain and was “welcomed by affected people and social movements”. Then, it has sought to do away with the 2013 law's provision of "seeking consent from owners of land in case land is being acquired for private sector projects or projects under public private partnership (PPP).”
Saying this should not be allowed, Oxfam says, these changes would only go to help “many projects including mining, SEZs, transportation, tourism”, hence they should be “immediately undone and no further dilutions should be allowed”.
Other changes sought by Oxfam include revoking “exemptions to SIA on acquisition of land multicropped land”, and reinstatement of 2013 Act's “provisions related to return of unutilized land” to the original owner. It adds, there are in all “nineteen amendments floated by the Ministry of Rural Development, with possibilities existing for “adversely modifying the rates of compensation”.
Oxfam takes objection to the ordinance adding a “new section to the 2013 Act, which includes a range of projects for which the provisions of SIA and food security safeguards will not apply. This includes acquisition of land for defence or national security projects, infrastructure projects (including tourism, mining, and transportation), industrial corridors (like Special Economic Zones) and affordable housing for low income groups.”
Oxfam also disagrees to the ordinance's provision which ensures that there is no cognizance of offence made by government employees in any court without it being first sanctioned by the government. “The 2013 Act had put the liability of any offence committed under the Act, directly on the head of a government department”, adds Oxfam.
Calling the LARR ordinance, 2014 “a conscious and retrograde step, which aims to bring about long-term changes targeted primarily towards speedy land acquisition for project developers”, Oxfam believes, it is “likely to create more social and environmental conflicts rather than resolve them.”
Prepared by Kanchi Kohli, a researcher on environment, forest and biodiversity governance, for Oxfam's India branch, the note concludes that the ordinance is “in favour of those acquiring land rather than the project impacted communities, especially those who are poor and landless.”

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

US 'frustrated' with India’s discomfort: Maritime exercise in South China Sea

By Vijay Prashad*  In early April 2024, the navies of four countries -- Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States -- held a maritime exercise in the South China Sea. Australia’s Warramunga, Japan’s Akebono, the Philippines’ Antonio Luna, and the United States’ Mobile worked together in these waters to strengthen their joint abilities and -- as they said in a joint statement  -- to “uphold the right to freedom of navigation and overflight and respect for maritime rights under international law.” 

Dadi, poti discuss 'injustice' under 10 yr Modi rule: Video campaign goes viral

By Our Representative  Watan Ki Raah Mein, a civil society campaign of the Samvidhan Bachao Nagrik Abhiyan, has released a short video conversation on social media of an exchange of letters between a dadi and her poti discussing poverty, unemployment, corruption and women’s safety. The letters also raise the question of  suppression of our fundamental rights of speech, expression and justice. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9.