Skip to main content

Congress, Left, NGOs again return to one platform to "fight" land acquisition bill, hold public hearing in Delhi

Jairam Ramesh (Congress)
By Our Representative
A people's hearing, organized by the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of rights based organizations of India, and several NGOs, has "unanimously" rejected the Land Acquisition Bill 2015, and favoured the Joint Forum formed to campaign against it to "intensify" struggle against it. The hearing saw NGOs, Congress and Left return on one platform to fight against the Bill.
Those who participated in the public hearing included representatives of people's movements, landless labour unions and farmers’ organisations from 10 states. Sending a "strong" message to the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which has heard views on the Bill, the hearing was carried out under the banner of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan.
Among those who provided details of "grave implications" of the upcoming bill for majority of the country’s population at the public public hearing included JPC member and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh (Congress), Vaiko (MDMK), Jitendra Choudhary and Sankar Prasad Dutta (both CPM).
The representatives of mass movement who participated in the public hearing were Medha Patkar, Vasavi Karo, Ashok Choudhary, Prafulla Samantara, Ramalingam, Hannan Mollah, Vimal bhai, Hansraj Gheora, KKR Lenin, Alok Shukla, Dr Rupesh Varma, Satyavan, Ulka Mahajan, Umesh Kumar, NK Shukla, Sriram Bharadwaj, etc.. 
They "shared" past and ongoing struggle experiences against land acquisition, NAPM said. Terming the land ordinance as the "biggest attack on farmers", the representatives were quoted as saying that, for the third time, despite JPC looking into the matter, "reflects disrespect for the committee’s efforts."
The NAPM added, "The unprecedented scale of land acquisition and the agrarian crisis are two sides of the same coin which is evident from projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor which will impact 31% of the country’s agricultural land."
The NAPM further said, "Multi-crop land and productive rain-fed, semi-arid and dry lands that ensure food security are at risk with no clear reasoning or facts behind the acquisition of vast tracts of land. The lack of a land use policy has also provided unlimited opportunities of misuse where land has been transferred into private hands for real estate and luxury projects."
According to NAPM, "Representatives shared their frustrations regarding repeated violations in tribal, biodiversity rich and eco-sensitive areas. Despite constitutional provisions tribals have suffered from large scale displacement due to acquisition for mining, dams and industries."
It added, "Utter disregard for informed consent, consultation and local governance processes have been countered by several successful struggles which are now being repressed with armed forces. A recent example is the illegal acquisition for Kanhar Dam project where police fired indiscriminately on several hundred Dalits and tribals and arrested key activists."
"Representatives felt that by moving towards greater power to the states in land acquisition processes, the government is shirking its responsibility since land is a concurrent subject where central governments have the final say. Various active state acquisition laws and massive capital development projects such as the AP land pooling scheme are testimony to this trend", NAPM said.
The hearing felt, said NAPM, that "the ordinance represents a corporate driven growth model that is not inclusive and will only impoverish large sections of the population. Recent census data shows that 1 in 3 rural households are landless and this statistic will only rapidly worsen with the proposed Bill."

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

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.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).