Skip to main content

"Benefits" of land ordinance cited amidst Gujarat farmer leaders' coordinated plan for anti-land acquisition struggle

By Our Representative
A group of Gujarat farmers’ organizations have formed a new farmers’ coordination committee, Sanyukt Khedut Sangharsh Samiti, to fight against the Government of India’s controversial land acquisition ordinance, re-promulgated last week, giving a long-drawn-out plan of struggle against the ordinance. The decision to form the Samiti was taken at a Chintan Shibir meeting of various farmers’ organizations in Ahmedabad.
To launch its struggle in May by holding two separate “yatras” – one starting at Dandi in South Gujarat, and the other at Porbandar in Saurashtra – Gujarat Khedut Samaj’s Sabar Rabari said, “The two streams will merge at Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) to hold a huge farmers’ meet against the ordinance.”
To be headed by veteran former Congressman Sanat Mehta, among the organizations which have decided to be part of the Samiti include Gujarat Khedut Samaj, All-India Kisan Sabha and Saurashtra Ladat Samiti. The farmers’ meet at Dholera is likely to be addressed by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, Rabari suggested.
While it is not known if the Chintan Shibir deliberated on certain pros and cons of the ordinance which is the main point of contention, already, some activists have suggested that it may actually prove to be “blessing in disguise” to the farmers of the Dholera special investment region (SIR), whose land was sought to be taken by taken away by without applying the Gujarat town planning Act, 1976.
The farmers of 22 villages in the south of Ahmedabad were officially told last year that they would have to part 50 per cent of their land for the Dholera SIR’s infrastructure development. Refusing to call it “land acquisition”, the notices to the farmers said they would be paid compensation as per the market rate fixed by the government.
A Gujarat government document, justifying the move, said that the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (LARR, 2013) – which the Government of India has replaced with an ordinance – would not be application in areas where a town planning scheme had been floated.
The document, had said, “Wherever a town planning scheme is finalised, there will not be any land acquisition under any other law.” It had added, “As soon as the town planning scheme is finalised, any land acquisition under LARR, 2013 would be treated as illegal”.
The ordinance which replaces the Act, however, says that the ordinance’s provisions on land acquisition would have precedence over other existing laws for land acquisition. “For all practical purposes, it means that Dholera farmers’ 50 per cent land cannot now be taken away under the Gujarat town planning Act by paying them government-decided market rate”, a senior activist said.
“Under the ordinance, they would have to be paid at least four times the market rate as compensation, which the government was refusing to pay to Dholera farmers by citing the Gujarat town planning Act, apart from benefits like resettlement and rehabilitation”, the activist said.
An independent researcher, Kanchi Kohli, says in an analysis of the ordinance that provisions of the LARR Act related to rehabilitation, resettlement as well as provision of infrastructure amenities like roads, drinking water, fair price shops, burial and cremation grounds will now apply to “all enactments listed in the Fourth Schedule of the LARR Act, 2013.”
Kohli adds, “What this implies is that even when land is acquired for coal mining, railways, nuclear power installations, highways etc, in future, it would be acquired under the LARR Act and not the other existing legislations.”

Comments

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

India reaches 8th of 10 stage genocide: US Muslim advocacy group raises 'alert'

By Hena Zuberi* India has reached the 8th stage of genocide with the persecution of the Muslim community. Stating this, Professor Greg Stanton, who heads Genocide Watch, declared a Genocide Emergency Alert for India today at Justice For All online briefing.

Anti-poor? 'Cumbersome' to link aadhaar, voter ID for people sans internet access

By Prashant Kumar Chaudhary, Ajit Kumar Jaiswal*  At present, technology plays an increasingly crucial part in modelling human existence by offering a variety of solutions to many of the challenges individuals confront in the real world. As a result, every branch of research works to provides means to solve these difficulties precisely and efficiently. The Central government works along the same lines as well.

'Dargah site was a temple': Claim in Gujarat following post-Babri verdict demands in UP

By Rajiv Shah  Will Gujarat also see demands to replace mosques and dargahs with Hindu temples? It would seem so, if a new fact-finding team conclusion is any indication. Apprehending the “danger” of communal conflagration, it has cited the claim on a 15th century dargah was originally a Hindu temple – allegedly quite on line with what has been happening in UP following the Supreme Court verdict on Babri Mosque.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why Church in India today needs a Rutilio Grande, martyred for stance on social justice

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  For the people of El Salvador, January 22, 2022 will be more than just a red-letter day. Three of their sons, Jesuit Fr Rutilio Grande and his two lay associates 72-year-old Manuel Solorzano and 15-year-old Nelson Rutilio Lemus (and Italian Franciscan missionary Fr Cosme Spessotto who was also martyred) will be beatified in San Salvador.

Sweden-backed study: India won't achieve 2030 UN goals, officials can't recognise SDG

By Rajiv Shah  A Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)-sponsored study, carried out by the advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) India, seeking to analyse the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No 12, Responsible Consumption and Production (RCP), has regretted, it is "very unlikely" India will achieve any of the targets of SDG 12 by 2030 "unless some serious measures are taken by the government to reverse the present trend."

Gender insensitive? Model Gujarat's cyclone relief package ignores 40,000 fisherwomen

CSJ volunteers talking to fisherwomen By Rajiv Shah  A Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) note on the Gujarat government’s compensation package to the victims of the devastating Tauktae cyclone, which hit the coastal belt of Saurashtra's Amerli, Rajula, Una, and Gir-Somnath districts in May 2021, has said, the relief offered was so terribly inadequate that many of the fisherfolk were not able to fish for the rest of the year.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Haridwar call for genocide direct result of Modi 'tolerating' Islamophobic policies

By Our Representative  A high-level briefing organised in Washington DC, in which as many as 17 human rights and interfaith organizations -- including Amnesty International USA, Genocide Watch and Hindus for Human Rights, apart from several persons in their individual capacity -- participated, has come down heavily on what they called "Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Islamophobic policies and tolerance of open incitement by Hindu extremists for a genocide of Muslims."