NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
National Office : 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110 014 . Phone : 011 2437 4535 | 9818905316
Two Day Meeting on
New Land Acquisition Act, People’s Movements and its Political Implications
November 19-20, 2013. Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi
After years of struggles by the people’s movements in the country, the colonial Land Acquisition Act, 1894 has been repealed and a new law titled, Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013, been enacted.
General Elections and Assembly Elections in many of the states are due in coming months. Political parties, those in power and in opposition have all started working on plans, schemes and legislations targetting electorates and addressing their constituencies. UPA government has passed on some of the key legislations with political benefits in mind in the coming elections, including the new land act along with the National Food Security Act. However, the broader questions of people’s participation in development process, development with dignity, equity and justice and strengthening of communities rights over natural resources remain unaddressed.
National Alliance of People’s Movements have been engaged in the process of developing an alternative to the whole framework of land acquisition by State in the name of public purpose using the power of eminent domain since late 80s. The question of protecting land rights, livelihoods of nature based communities, making displacement a coterminous agenda with development to be addressed by the government and a whole new framework of development planning, was put in public domain by NAPM.
In early 90s a draft Bill was submitted to the Government of India, later in 2006 a different version was accepted by National Advisory Council and since then many presentations to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Ministry of Rural Development, other concerned Ministries and political parties have been made. The act now passed by the Parliament draws from our efforts starting with the very fact that there is a comprehensive Act, as opposed to two separate legislations, one for land acquisition and another for resettlement and rehabilitation. In addition, the inclusion for provisions of Social Impact Assessment, an expanded definition of project affected families, R&R benefits to the landless and groups other than land owners and role for Gram / Basti Sabha at different stages, consent of project affected and so on.
However, the new Act has many problems as pointed by NAPM and will not put an end to forcible land acquisitions and conflicts around that. It will neither end the miseries of displacement and nor empower communities rights and our struggle for democratic development and against corporate loot will continue. Even then, it is imperative that many of us who have been part of the struggles engage with the new legislation, strategise and make it a tool along with other laws to challenge the corporate loot of precious natural resources.
Land acquisition is going to increase given the large number of thermal power plants, dams, nuclear power plants, special investment regions, industrial corridors, manufacturing zones, highways, ports, airports, real estate projects and other infrastructure projects planned by the governments threatening the livelihood of millions and this new Act is to facilitate that.
There is a purposeful propaganda spread by the corporations and corporate media that the new Act is detrimental to industrialization, what we believe is that this is going to create a havoc in the country and cause sever land conflicts and will only facilitate the land acquisition. Hence, it is important to understand the new Act, to engage with it and see it as a tool for struggle.
The rules for the new Act have been put up for comments from public by the Ministry of Rural Development. As in past, we should read it, engage with it and give our reactions to it, in whatever form we deem fit.
It is in this context that we invite you to a two day consultation to discuss and debate the provisions of the new Act, proposed draft rules for the Act and people’s movements strategy in the upcoming Elections.
The meeting will be held on November 19-20, 2013 from 9:30 to 6:00 PM, at Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, New Delhi.
Tentative agenda :
- Session One : Understanding the New Act
- Session Two : Discussion on Implications of the Provisions of the Act for Communities
- Session Three : Responses to the Act and Draft Rules
- Session Four : Upcoming Assembly and General Elections
We do hope you will be able to join us for this important meeting and together develop a common strategy to fight the corporate design for land and resource grab and develop a counter narrative to the dominant development and growth propaganda.
We look forward to be with you and do let us know, if you need more information.
Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara & Lingraj Azad (Orissa), Arundhati Dhuru (Uttar Pradesh), Dr. Sunilam, Aradhana Bhargava & Meera (Madhya Pradesh), C R Neelakandan (Kerala), D. Gabriele (Tamilnadu), Gautam Bandopadhyay (Chattisgarh), Sister Celia (Karnataka), Mahendra Yadav & Kamayani Swami (Bihar), Anand Mazgaonkar & Krishnakant (Gujarat), Ramakrishna Raju, PS Ajay and Saraswati Kavula (Andhra pradesh), Suniti. S. R., Vilas Bhongade, Suhas Kolhekar, Prasad Bagwe (Maharashtra), Bhupender Singh Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar and Seela M (Delhi), Vimal Bhai (Uttarakhand)
For details contact : firstname.lastname@example.org | 9212587159 | 9818905316