Skip to main content

Andhra land acquisition law passed under World Bank "direction" to build capital Amravati, as land pooling system fails

By Our Representative
Passed in order to "expedite" land acquisition for the new Andhra Pradesh capital Amravati after the state government's "land pooling" scheme has come under stress, the recent amendment Bill, passed by the State Legislative Assembly tweaking crucial provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013, is allegedly in line with the "directions" of the Doing Business Report of the World Bank.
A civil society statement, signed by 46 organizations, has said that the Doing Business Report recommends the dilution of land acquisition procedure and other regulatory ‘bottlenecks’ in order to enhance "investments, considering it as one of the prerequisites "to improve its ranking on the Ease of Doing Business at the behest of international financial institutions".
"The amendments open the doors to all kinds of projects, violating the purpose of public purpose", the statement, signed, among others, by the National Alliance of People’s Movements, the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), Narmada Bachao Andolan, Samata, Mines Minerals and People, says, adding, they particularly undermine LARR Act's social impact assessment, need for consent by 70% landowners are circumvented.
Assented by the President of India, the amendment, says the civil society statement, "empowers the district collector to pass an award for acquiring land after taking consent of the interested person without making an enquiry", calling the amendments "an insult to people who hard fought to secure progressive provisions in the LARR Act, 2013, weakening people’s power to challenge illegal and unjust forced acquisition of land."
Pointing out that amendments "empower the state and corporations to infringe upon people’s rights over natural resources", the statement underlines, *In the Amravati Capital City project in Andhra Pradesh, this amendment will only embolden the efforts of the state in going ahead with the project, which involves coercion and intimidation in acquiring farmland despite pending cases, injunctions by courts and people’s protests."
It adds, "This is an attempt by the state to legitimise the illegal and unjust actions, and we strongly condemn it. As is being widely perceived, the inability of the state to acquire lands through its questionable ‘land pooling’ scheme in the case of Amaravati, in fact, triggered the proposal to amend the LARR Act, 2013."
The statement further says, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has already approved lending to the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh government for the Amaravati Capital City Project, and the project is being "co-financed by the World Bank", even as "farmers affected by the land-pooling scheme have taken up "their grievances with the complaint mechanism of the World Bank in the absence of compliance mechanisms and policies of AIIB".
The statement adds, "Whether in Amaravati or elsewhere in the country, the worst-affected due to diversion of large swathes of fertile farmlands to corporate entities, non-farm purposes, etc. would be tenant cultivators, women farmers, fisher people, forest-dwelling adivasis, especially in scheduled areas, and landless Dalits, on a massive scale, whose rights and interests the State and the President has an obligation to protect."

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

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

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.