The Times Of India, 12 Jan 2015, Nagpur: National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has slammed the NDA government decision to promulgate an ordinance to amend the Land Acquisition Act. NAPM leader Medha Patkar has called the amended act undemocratic and against the interest of common people.
“NAPM has organized a two-day convention in New Delhi on January 23 and 24. Large number of like-minded organizations and employee unions will participate in it. We will burn the ordinance on the first day of the budget session,” Patkar told the media here on Sunday evening.
A meeting of NAPM leaders was held in Vinoba Vichar Kendra on Sunday. It was attended by representatives of like minded organization. The decision about the convention was taken today. Patkar said that there were several objectionable clauses in the ordinance. “Earlier consent of 70% people was needed to acquire land. Now this has been done away with. Multi-cropped land was not to be acquired and farm land was to be avoided as far as possible but now there is no distinction between fallow and cropped land,” she said.
The new Rehabilitation Act passed by UPA clearly stated government would not acquire land for private and PPP projects. However, now Modi government could acquire whichever land it wanted, Patkar added. It made five categories of land but a closer look reveals that even real estate came within the definition of infrastructure, she informed.
Lingaraj Azad of NAPM Odisha said that the government had a land bank of one lakh hectares. “The government is misleading people by saying if land acquisition is not done there will be no investment in the country. When the government has so much land why does it want more? It should first use the available land,” he demanded.
Mahendra Yadav of NAPM Bihar stated compensation of four times the market value of land was another misleading clause. “The value of the land will be decided by the tehsildar. It won’t be the actual market price. Moreover, if you go through this clause, you will find there are lot of ifs and buts in the rehabilitation scheme. For example, it states that jobs will be given if they are available. Otherwise, the affected person will get a compensation of Rs 2,000 per month for 20 years. This amount is a pittance,” he said.