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Discussion on New Land Acquisition Bill : Business As Usual or A Radical Shift ?
New Land Acquisition Bill : Business As Usual or A Radical Shift ?
May 1st, 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Indian Social Institute, 10, Institutional Area, Lodi Road , Room No 207, New Delhi, 110003 New Delhi.
On the occasion of May Day, we invite you to discuss the new land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation bill, under discussion for more than six years now. The Bill is supposedly to give a push to industrialization process, which would mean more jobs, growth and development. But is it really about creating greater number of jobs for a majority young population of the country or a tool to facilitate land and resource grab ? Will the Bill, herald in a new framework of land acquisition / resource uitlilisation / development planning or state will facilitate huge amount of private land owned by farmers and the village common land to private corporations to promote megalomaniac development of the kind promoted by Adani’s Mundra SEZ, Gujarat or urbanisation of the kind promoted by DLF and co ?
Hectic parleys with political parties have been ongoing in past few months in order to reach a consensus on the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 for its passage in the current Budget session of the Parliament. However, the government is under fire from opposition on its involvement in Coal Scam, 2 G Scam and many others. These scams fundamentally are about irregularities in resource allocation process for development of the country. Land Acquisition Act is also about the question of resources, ownership and development. It is not only land but everything attached to the land, water, forest, coal, minerals etc. which gets acquired in the name of public purpose and development causing immense pain to millions of farmers and workers and those dependent on these.
In principle, it is the government’s effort at addressing the problems in the 1894 Land Acquisition Act, which is not only completely outdated, but has only promoted forcible land acquisition across the country. Land acquisition in India continues to take place without any resettlement and rehabilitation, drastically affecting not only people who lose their land, but also those who lose their livelihood. It is first time that a land acquisition bill specifically talks about the resettlement and rehabilitation of the project affected persons, and in a first state to also acquire land for private corporations, in a way becoming the middle man for them?
It is in this context that we invite you to discuss the different dimensions of the Bill, its implications on the agriculture, food security, job creation, development, land conflict, relief to project affected people and justice to land and livelihood losers in the process of development.
Discussion to be joined by:
Com. Debbrata Biswas, Forward Bloc
Com. Prabodh Panda, CPI
Medha Patkar, NBA-NAPM
Smita Gupta, AIDWA
Prof. K B Saxena, Council for Social Development, Delhi