The New Indian Express, 16 June 2015, New Delhi: As the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Land Bill resumed its weekly meetings on Monday, both NGOs and farmer organisations attacked the government for making changes in the legislation.
Activist Medha Patkar appeared before the committee to put her points across. She said the Bill was against the interests of farmers. Referring to the Narmada Valley Projects against which Patkar had revolted, she said ‘Social Impact Assessment’ and ‘Consent’ clauses of Land Acquisition Act should be retained. “The Narmada experience shows how without the two preconditions, a project like Sardar Sarovar was pushed sans a full or good plan and people’s sanction, inevitably leading to controversies that continue to affect the project till date,” she said.
Several organisations, including National Alliance for Farmers Movement (NAFM), All India Coordination Committee of Farmers, Bhartiya Kisan Union (A) and Shetkari Sangathan, made their representation before the committee.
The NAFM made nine suggestions to the panel, including land for land, house for house and employment for employment arrangements while rehabilitating those affected by land acquisition. They suggested that the farmers whose lands are taken be given a share of profit.
Society for Justice said the Centre should carry out a survey to identify waste or barren or desert land or land already acquired and not put to use and create a “land bank” to plan future development.