Whose Land is it Anyway?
New Land Bill: For People or Profit?
Monday, August 13, 2012 | 3 – 7 pm
Dy Chairman Hall, Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi
Organised by Sangharsh (NAPM – NFFPFW and others)
A public meeting with representatives of political parties and social activists on the relevance & implications of the proposed RIGHT TO FAIR COMPENSATION, RESETTLEMENT, REHABILITATION AND TRANSPARENCY IN LAND ACQUISITION BILL, 2012 was organized by Sangharsh, an alliance of NAPM, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, NFFPFW and many other grassroots based organizations at Dy Chairman Hall, Constitution Club. Representatives from political parties and MPs such as Shri Manishankar Aiyar (INC), Shri Sharad Yadav(JD(U)), Shri Sanjay Paswan(BJP), Shri Manikrao Gavit(INC), Comrade Prabodh Panda(CPI) etc. were present in the meeting. Representatives of various mass movements such as Medha Patkar, Roma Malik, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Dr. Rupesh Verma, Dr. Rajendra Sharma etc. also stated their views on the issue of Land acquisition and implications of the upcoming bill.
Shri Sharad Yadav emphasized on the need of mass movements and its elaborated role in representing people’s voices. Medha Patkarinsisted on the need for reclaiming on ownership of planning and management for the marginalized commons. Highlighting the brutal extension of eminent domain and subsequent decentralization; Medha further emphasized on fair comepensation, alternative livelihood and stated that there should be no acquisitions to be done by the government for private purposes. Also emphasizing on Right to work and introduction of a development planning act; Medha opposed the provision of agri-land acquisition and said that no agricultural land, either it is single or multi-crop, should be acquired.
Shri Manishankar Aiyar said that he’s concerned with the response of the government being the member of Parliamentary Standing Committee on LARR Bill 2011. Emphasizing on the definition of public purpose; he further added that public should not be confused with private purpose. He stressed that no acquisition should happen for private purpose under the definition of public purpose. He further added that proper Social Impact Assessment should be determined by the affected communities and insisted that local governing bodies such as Panchayati Raj Institutions must be kept in loop and engaged in the process.
Comrade Prabodh Panda stated that the Government must stop the ongoing land acquisition and retrospection of enforcement of the bill must be done. He emphasized that unused land for five years needs to be restored to the original landlords; tribals to be given quality land in exchange during land acquisition processes; prices of land to be acquired should be determined by price commissions and a separate law for conservation of agricultural-land must be provided.
Furthermore; various representatives from mass movements also expressed their thoughts and concerns during the meeting.
Meanwhile; Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of rural development appeared as addressing one another programme at Constitution Club and quoting that land acquisition must be made ‘Investor-friendly’. Replying to one question during the question hour at that programme; he said that the pro-people bills such as PESA couldn’t be implemented therefore new propositions need to be introduced and examined in the present context. He also said that he hopes to introduce the LARR Bill during this monsoon session.
Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan – NAPM, Roma, Kaimur Kshetra Mahila Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti – NFFPFW , Bhupendera Singh Rawat, Bhumi Bachao Andolan – NAPM , Dr Rupesh Kumar ,Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, UP, Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttarakhand- NAPM
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