National Consultation on the Draft Guidelines for
Development Planning, Land Use Alterations, No Enforced Displacement, and Just Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill
May 6, Friday, Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi
New Delhi, April 21
Dear Comrades / Friends / Colleagues,
A National Consultation on the proposed Land Acquisition and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill was held on 23rd September 2010 at the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi. The consultation was attended by movement groups, prominent intellectuals and members of the National Advisory Committee.
The consultation was unanimous in its demand for the repeal of the current colonial Land Acquisition Act. It sought for the initiation of a widespread consultation process. The discussions also reiterated the fact that Land involves all other resources on which communities are dependent. The group demanded that a white paper, on all the Land acquired since independence and its current status and the situation of the displaced, be presented before the public. A moratorium on new acquisitions should be in place until this process is complete. The consultation also underscored the fact that there were several other laws under which Land and other resources are being acquired and therefore the entire process must be dealt with comprehensively.
The following decisions were made to follow-up on this process:
Draft a statement clearly articulating the guidelines and principles for a comprehensive bill and the process;
Lobby with political parties to emphasise our position;
Make a focussed presentation to the NAC and initiate a dialogue with the key decision makers;
Organise Regional Consultations including various sectors on the basis of the draft statement and critique of the existing bill;
Organise a mass demonstration at Delhi in November during the winter session of the Parliament to pressurise the legislators for evolving a democratic and federal act.
After the meeting we held a demonstration on 22-26 November in Delhi where nearly 5,000 people from 10 states participated and after a long time nearly 1000 people from Assam came and joined the struggle. We held meetings and discussions with relevant ministries and political parties, and further vowed to stop the current amendments and continue our demand for a comprehensive legislation and promote land rights movements.
In addition, a drafting committee came together to formulate broad principles and our positions taking in account the demands of our movements. This became the basis for regional consultations in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai in February. NAPM Karnataka followed the consultations with another state consultation in March in Bangalore. This draft was also discussed with some other senior members of our struggle and legal experts too.
Meanwhile, NAC also set up its working group on these Bills to take forward the process with Harsh Mander as the Convener. NAC is working on a draft which will be circulated soon to the public for feedback and then accordingly take the process of drafting a Bill forward. We met the members and gave them our feedback and made available our principles on the various clauses.
We hope to continue with the lobbying and dialogues with the concerned ministries and others. In the meantime we have also reached out to other struggle groups in different parts of the country.
We are writing now to invite you to the National Consultation on May 6th at Gandhi Peace Foundation on the draft guidelines for ‘development planning, land use alterations, no enforced displacement, and just resettlement and rehabilitation bill’ developed by Sangharsh. It is still a work in progress and needs to take in account the lessons from different struggles.
So, we feel it is important that we have a point to point discussion on the different proposals outlined in the draft. Please note that everything in the draft subject to change and it has been arrived at after taking in consideration various discussions and debates in different parts of the country.
Please find attached the Hindi and English draft of the framework of the comprehensive Bill. The English Draft is Version 2.0 but the Hindi one is 1.0, since we have not been able to translate the revised version yet. By 6th May we do hope to have it translated. Do read it carefully and if will be helpful if you could send your comments before the meeting.
There are chances that these Bills will be brought to the Parliament in the Monsoon session so it is essential that we have a consensus on these provisions before hand which will give us enough time to prepare an alternative comprehensive draft much before Monsoon session for discussions with the political parties and others.
We do hope you will be able to join us for this important consultation. We are trying to arrange for accommodation for those coming from the outside, so please let us know if you need a place to stay on 5th night.
Date : May 6th Friday. Venue : Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deen Dayal Upadhyay marg, Near ITO, New Delhi. Time : 9:30 am – 6:00 pm
Medha Patkar, Ashok Chaudhary, Prafulla Samantara, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Guman Singh, Roma, Dayamani Barla, Sandeep Pandey, Suniti S R, Sister Celia, Gabriele Dietrich, Ajit Jha, Simpreet Singh, Vimalbhai, Rajendra Ravi, Anand Mazgaonkar, Bhupendra Singh Rawat, Vijayan M J, Madhuresh Kumar, Bipin Chander and others…
9:30 – 10:00 Registration and Tea
10:00 – 10:15 Welcome and Brief Update
10:15 – 12:00 pm Discussion on Key Points
National / State Development Planning Commission or Statutory Body
“Public Purpose” Definition – Process for Deciding Public Purpose
Acquisition for and by Private Companies, or Diversion of Forest Land and Revenue Wasteland, and Subsequent Changes of Land Use
12:00 – 12:30 Tea Break
12:30 : 1:30
Steps Prior to Notification of Acquisition
Social Impact Assessment
Environment Impact Assessment
Mandatory Free and Prior Informed Consent
1:30 – 2:30 Lunch
2:30 – 3:45
National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Commission
Definition of Project Affected People
Calculating cost of land, Compensation and R&R
Land for Land (Soil for Soil) and Alternative Livelihood Based Rehabilitation
Compensation for Loss of Land, Livelihood and Opportunities – Shares and Debentures, Solatium, Loss of Homestead and Livestock
Special Provisions for Dalits, Adivasis and Women
3:45 – 4:15 Tea Break
4:15 – 6:00
Rights over Acquired Land
Return of Land in case of Failure of Project or Transfer to Other Purposes
Penalty for violations
Persons not Adequately Rehabilitated in Earlier Projects
6:00 – 6:30 The Way Forward
Delhi Contact: 6/6, Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110014; Mob:9818905316/ 9868807129
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