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11 September 2011

Stakeholders trash draft Bill on land acquisition

The draft National Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement (NLARR) Bill-2011, which has been put in the public domain, has started drawing criticism from various quarters, especially from farmers.

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Hasiru Sene and progressive organisations such as the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (DSS) have formed a Joint Action Forum (JAF) to oppose the draft, which according to them is against the farming community.Plans afootThe JAF, led by the KRRS, is planning to exhort pressure on the Centre to release a White Paper on the extent of land acquired for industrial purposes and extent of land ’really’ utilised for the purpose specified in the past six decades.

The forum is conducting a one-day seminar to generate public opinion on the impact of the Bill on millions of farmers across the country on September 3 at Senate Hall.Addressing presspersons, KRRS president K.S. Puttanniah said after consolidating opinions and suggestions that come up during the seminar, the forum will launch a movement demanding a comprehensive Bill that would protect the interest of the farming community.

Considering the way the acquired land was being utilised and the rehabilitation of land losing farmers in the past 60 years, it was necessary for the Centre to declare a three-year moratorium on land acquisition to set the wrongs right, he said.

The forum is demanding the publishing of the draft Bill in all regional languages to facilitates the stakeholders to understand its provisions, and for redefining the term "public purpose", removing provisions that facilitates acquisition of land for private companies, changing the concept of ’Land Acquisition’ as ’Land Requisition’ and taking consent of land owners before acquiring the land.The draft was uploaded on the web in English and sought suggestions on or before August 31. "Only 10 per cent of the people, who know English and have e-accessibility can respond to the draft. It is a deliberate attempt to keep the stakeholders in the dark and pass the Bill," Mr. Puttanniah charged.

Till today, there has been no strong legislation to protect the interest of farmers and an archaic Land Acquisition Act 1894 was still in vogue, he said. Under the circumstances, the Centre was planning to pass the NLARR Bill to please the corporate sector, he further alleged.’Inhuman’Terming the Bill inhuman, Mr. Puttanniah said the Government was considering land as a market product, while it was an emotional issue for the people. There was no mention of compensating land losers with alternative land in the Bill and the draft was detrimental to the tribal community, he said.Forum plans to launch a movementWants draft Bill in all regional languages warns stir in Delhi opposing five bills                 

           Bangalore, Aug 30, DHNS:                                                       The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) has planned a massive protest by farmers in Delhi on September 18 demanding that the Union government should not take up five bills pertaining to farmers during the ongoing session.                                                        Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, KRRS State president K S Puttannaiah said that before going ahead with the bills in Parliament, they should be translated into vernacular languages and widely circulated among farmers across the country.Bills relating to food security, Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs), seeds, pesticides and land acquisition are slated to be introduced in the current session of the Parliament."Farming sector creates 70 per cent of the jobs and hence farmers should be heard before passing any bill on acquisition of land," Puttannaiah said.                                                                               


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