Skip to main content

Parliamentary panel "ignoring" farmers, adivasis, while seeking representation on land acquisition law

Gujarat farmers protest land acquisition for nuclear plant at Mithi Virdi 
By Our Representative
Thirty-odd Gujarat-based civil rights organizations, called by non-political farmers' body Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG), have taken strong exception to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), formed to collect suggestions into controversial amendments to the Land Acquisition Act (LAA), 2013, for refusing to directly talk to the oustees affected by different projects across India.
In one of the best representations to the JPC made public in the recent past, the joint representation to the JPC said, a formal process of public consultation should have been undertaken "via public hearings, oral submissions etc." because most of the farmers affected by projects cannot make written representations.
"You will appreciate that written submissions will be made by only a limited number of individuals and organisations. Farmers, adivasis, the rural population and other affected poor people who are the primary stakeholders in this process would be at a considerable disadvantage where written submissions have to be made", the submission said.
They said, this was particularly important as LAA 2013 or Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 was "the culmination of decades of struggle by affected people against arbitrariness, injustice and something that – to the affected people – must certainly appear to be a land grab."
"The process of enacting this legislation was also unprecedented", they insisted, adding, inputs were given large sections, political and non-political, academia and practitioners, "thus making it perhaps one of the most in-depth, participatory and inclusive legislative processes ever."
Pointing out that the argument for coming up to amend LAA 2013, that land acquisition for industry was getting delayed is totally wrong, the JAAG-led representation said, "Studies have shown that over 92 per cent of the in-pipeline projects were held up due to reasons other than land acquisition-related issues."
"Clearly, implementation of the Act was not even initiated/attempted and the conclusion was reached that ‘it was unimplementable’.", it said, adding, "The amendments in the Ordinance make a mockery of the ‘consent’ requirement, the heart and soul of the principal Act and the demand over decades by affected people."
What is worse, the representation said, even "temporary acquisitions are also exempt from consent requirements which in our view is altogether unjust." It added, "In our opinion, consent (of the affected families and the gram sabhas) must be mandatory for all acquisitions – government or otherwise, temporary or permanent."
"It is also noteworthy that in the last one year the economy has not shown any signs of revival. In such a situation the question that arises is: what will the government do with the land thus acquired?", wonders the representation, adding, "Surely, the Government would not want to facilitate a process whereby land becomes an easy destination to park the black money fuelling speculative land markets."
Pointing towards how the new proposed amendment is pro-corporate, the representation said, it removes the earlier restriction to “companies registered under the Companies Act 2013” and broadens the scope of acquisition. It empowers the government to acquire it for anyone or anything as per its will, choice or discretion."

Comments

TRENDING

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.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.