Skip to main content

Just 50% compensation under Gujarat land acquisition law; 70% state area "wouldn't need" farmers' consent

By Our Representative
The recent Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in the state assembly and awaiting the Governor's accent, appears to all set drastically water down the high compensation amount stipulated in the Central LARR Act, passed in 2013 by the former UPA government.
A just-released comprehensive paper on LARR (Gujarat Amendment) Bill, 2016, has revealed that, contrary to the Central LARR Act, 2013, stipulating compensation of four times the prevailing market rate for any land acquired, whether for "public purpose" or otherwise, the latest Gujarat amendment bill seeks to give only 50 per cent of the award declared as compensation to certain category of farmers.
Pointing out that a new 31A section has been added to section 31 of the 2013 Act, the paper says, the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) award for the affected families by the district collector, in cases where the government acquires less than 100 acres of land for its own use, or for projects of a linear nature, would be just about 50 per cent of the compensation amount.
The paper says, this suggests that "less than 100 acres of acquisition for its own use would not invite the R&R clause of the principal Act", adding, "Effectively it means that the detailed steps listed in section 31 for R&R for the affected families (including alternate sites and land, mandatory employment, other rights, annuity etc.) get converted into a one-time monetary payment."
This change, says the paper, is over and above the exemption from the need for consent and conducting social impact assessment (SIA) for acquiring land four category of projects sought to be implemented under the guise of public purpose.
Authors of the paper titled “Gujarat Model for LARR: Right of Land Acquisition”, senior land rights activists Persis Ginwalla and Sagar Rabari, told newspersons in Ahmedabad that not just defence projects but amorphous "defence-related projects" are also exempt from consent and SIA. 
"Any private party can come up with a defence-related project", they said, adding, "Similarly, there is no definition acquisition for affordable housing or rural infrastructure. Even Rs 50 lakh flats can be categorized as affordable housing."
The paper also takes strong exception to expanded the definition of ‘industrial corridors’ for land acquisition without consent and SIA. It says, the new definition includes  “industrial corridors set up by the state government and its undertakings", and also land acquired up to one kilometre on both sides of designated railway line or roads for industrial corridor."
The activists explained, "In our assessment about 62 per cent of the land mass of Gujarat directly falls under the industrial corridor category. With  one kilometre on both sides of railway lines and roads for industrial corridors also included for acquisition, the areas that may be affected might include the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar highway, the Ahmedabad-Mundra highway or the coastal highway. More than 70 per cent of Gujarat would not required consent or SIA for land acquisition."
The paper quotes ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ accompanying the Gujarat amendment Bill, to point towards what its real purpose is. The paper says, "The primary justification for the amendments, it appears, is to safeguard 'investment' and 'provide all basic facilities and infrastructure to entrepreneurs'."
"Farmers and others dependent on land, who were the drivers of the 2013 Central Act, do not even find a mention in the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’", the paper complains, adding, worse, Section 23A has been inserted after Section 23, which "essentially gives the district collector the power to decide on the matter of land acquisition and compensation amount."
---
Click HERE to read full paper

Comments

TRENDING

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.

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

RSS 'demonizing' Muslim demographics: Hindus' growth rate decline 2.5% lower

By Mohan Guruswamy*
The RSS is riding its old hobbyhorse again. Addressing the Yuva Dampati Sammelan attended by reportedly 2000 young couples organized by the RSS’ Kutumb Prabhodan in Agra on August 21, the RSS Sarsanghchalak, Mohan Bhagwat, apparently concerned about the “declining Hindu population” exhorted young Hindu couples to have more children.

River interlinking to transfer tribals' drinking, irrigation water to Maharashtra industries

Counterview Desk
Top advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), recently submitted its comments on the Damanganga–Vaitarna-Godavari Intrastate Link project to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), a project sought to be packaged by the Maharashtra chief minister as diversion of water from allegedly water surplus Konkan region to the drought-affected Marathwada region.

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.

Govt of India 'has no plan' to reduce energy, fossil fuel consumption, emissions

Counterview Desk
In his representation to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India on draft National Resource Efficiency Policy (NREP), 2019, top power policy analyst Shankar Sharma has insisted that there is imminent need to consider the economic activities at the national/international level very carefully from the perspective of climate change.

Here's proof: Manual scavenging is rampant, Ahmedabad isn't open defecation free

By Parsottam Vaghela*
Authorities of Ahmedabad, the largest city of Gujarat, may have gone into full swing in its cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat mission after the city was awarded the open defecation free plus (ODF+) certificate by the Union government’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. However, my visit to some of the areas of the walled city of Ahmedabad on August 7 in order to ascertain whether it has become open defecation free suggested that the claim is a total humbug.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.