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Suggested Features Of The New Land Acquisition Bill

The government needs to consider the LA Bill in greater details. It is not the responsibility of one minister but the full cabinet. Hence views of all the concerned ministries need to taken into consideration.  Issues like these deserve detailed scrutiny:  Should fertile arable land be spared at all for any other purpose like urban settlements, industry etc?  Why can’t degraded lands be used for industrial and urban settlements?  Compensation is no substitute for deprivation of source of livelihood for generations for the whole family without providing equally satisfying rehabilitation.  It is very bad economics and a sure recipe for political agitations.  Has the government thought of any alternative offer on a sustained livelihood basis?  The migrant population is responsible for exorbitant prices in the countryside affecting poor inhabitants, which is caused by setting up urban households on agricultural lands and the government never thinks of providing any relief to the affected people.  Does the government plan to take into consideration these negative economic developments affecting the purchasing power and consumption of the affected people?  Urban waste is a terrible pollutant for hundreds of miles.  It pollutes the soil, air & water.  There being no waste disposal mechanism in sight for miles, rural public/private land is misused free of cost and  at  great hazards to public health.  How does the government plan to manage this terrible problem, which directly affects each child, men & women of every age and the baby in the womb?  Urbanization causes crimes of a new kind to which the folks in the villages are not used to.  The local rules of social behaviour keep an effective check on local crimes.  People are known to each other and norms are mandatory as well as voluntary. The urban folks call it “backward” and think it is their prerogative to violate each and every such norm.  Such behaviour causes cultural shock, tensions, conflicts, police action etc.  Money power and influence peddling aggravates the response to crime because of police action and lawyers and judges overtaking a life style which was being socially managed locally without any costs and fairly. Would the government impose its plans or give due respect to norms of social behaviour? Industry pollutes.  Has the government ensured proper disposal of industrial waste?  Parliamentary Committees had given stinking reports on industries polluting but no action seems to have even been taken so far.

These and other relevant issues deserve thorough examination and a government paper on the subject before the LA Bill is introduced. Compensation is not everything.

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