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

Nirma varsity demand for higher fees 'illegal', violates Article 14: Letter to Gujarat HC

Counterview Desk
Students of Gujarat’s top private institute, Nirma University, situated in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, in a letter to the Chief Justice the state High Court, have complained that the authorities are demanding “full fees” from students, without taking into account the “disproportionate impact” the lockdown has on the livelihood of students and families.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Vulnerable to Covid-19, sharp rise in murder of Indian journalists during pandemic

By Nava Thakuria*
Vulnerability of working journalists in India is no way an alien issue as the populous country loses a number of working journalists to assailants as also medical emergencies. Even though there was only one casualty in the Indian media fraternity during the first half of 2020, who was targeted for journalistic work, India has begun witnessing an alarming number of media casualties during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Govt 'assures' Gujarat HC no action against MBBS students defying corona sahayak order

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government has assured the High Court that no action would be taken against Part-I and Part-II MBBS students of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)-controlled NHL Medical College and LG Hospital and Medical College. The assurance follows the direction by Justice SH Vora to the State government not to prosecute or initiate action against the students who were defying the college authorities’ order to work as corona sahayaks (helpers).

Renounced US citizenship to serve workers, tribals, Sudha Bharadwaj 'odiously' in jail

By Atul, Sandeep Pandey*
Professor Sudha Bharadwaj has been in jail since August 2018. She was taken into police custody on August 26, 2018 on suspicion of being involved in Maoist terror activities after Republic TV claimed that she had allegedly written a letter to Maoists and was conspiring to create public disorder and unrest in India.

Cruel legacy of Green Revolution? Covid-19 underscores 'risky, fragile' food system

By Moin Qazi*  The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the risks of an unhealthy diet and the extreme fragility of food systems. The economic reconstruction that will follow the pandemic is the perfect opportunity to provide better nutrition and health to all. The pandemic should spur us to redefine how we feed ourselves, and agricultural research can play a vital role in making our food systems more sustainable and resilient.

Plant organic, eat fresh: Emlen Bage's journey from migrant labour to agri-entrepreneur

By Chandrashekar and Kriti*
Who is a farmer? Type this question in the google search and check out the images? You can see men thronging the screen. This is the popular perception around the globe. Well one can understand how difficult it would be for a woman to defy this perception.

High youth unemployment: India 'fails' to take advantage of demographic dividend

By Varun Kumar
As coronavirus pandemic continues amplifying challenges among youth with regard to employment opportunities, government policies have further resulted in economic slowdown, leading to mass unemployment and loss jobs. According to the International Labour Organisation report “Covid-19 and the World of Work” (May 27, 2020), around 94 percent of the world’s workers are living in countries with some sort of workplace closure measures in place.

Dichotomy? US Hindutva groups oppose racism, mum on Modi's 'anti-minority' stance

By Our Representative
The Hindus for Human Rights (HHR), a US-based advocacy group, has noticed a major dichotomy between the stance taken by RSS’ US arm, Hindu Swayamsewak Sangh (HSS), expressing “shock” at the “painful killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others”, all of which suggest “the tragic tale of racial injustice” in US, and HSS’ “hatred” for India’s religious minorities and Dalits.