Skip navigation

NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS
A – Wing First Floor, Haji Habib Building, Naigaon Cross Road
Dadar (E), Mumbai-400 014 Ph. No – 022-2415 0529 E-mail: napmindia@gmail.com
Delhi Contact: 011-26680883 / 26680914 / 98682 00316 / 098918 14707

PRESS NOTE
21st July 2009

PROPOSED LAND ACQUISITION (AMENDMENT) and REHABILITATION & RESETTLEMENT BILLS
WILL ONLY ACCELERATE DISPLACEMENT, NOT REHABILITATION

People’s Movements to present their position before Public, Parliament and
Government

DHARNA AND PEOPLE’S PARLIAMENT AT JANTAR MANTAR, NEW DELHI ON 23-24 JULY,
2009

The anger and protests of rural masses, Adivasis, even of those living in the
urban habitations, against Displacement are getting ever louder. Hundreds of
thousands are being uprooted and displaced under the pretext of ‘development’
and ‘industrialization’ and while the public purpose/people’s interest are
being bandied about to acquire lands for big dams, new ports or cities, mines,
for protecting forests or for creation of national parks and sanctuaries, all
this only serves the interests of capitalists, corporate honchos and those in
power but certainly not of those whose land is expropriated through such laws.
Displacement only results in creating inequity, growth of
capital/market-control over the economy, instead of transforming the society
based on justice and equality. In the process of such development planning the
place, role, dignity, participation, i.e., the very existence of local bodies
such as Gramsabhas and Ward Committees is sought to be eliminated. Whole
life-support systems such as land, water and forests are being taken away from
those who possessed them for generations. Their Constitutional rights are
crushed with the help of new legislations.

The new Government has decided to place before Parliament the same old
legislation in its current session. The Amendments proposed in the old British
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 will put on fast-track displacement rather than
minimising it. The most damaging aspect of the amendments proposed in the Land
Acquisition Act is to bring private interest and purpose within the definition
of ‘public purpose’.

This proposed legislation (Act) nullifies the rights accorded by Amendment
73-74 which required the consent of the Gram Sabha before any land acquisition
as well as rehabilitation, and the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment
of projects. It also envisaged exploration of alternatives available so as to
avoid or minimise displacement. The new amendments ignore this totally. The
Amendment also provides for the application of the Emergency clause for land
acquisition for corporations so that they can get land within 15 days. This
will inflict even greater injustice than the current law.

The proposed National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill is not only weak but
negates the rights of the displaced to ask for land in return for land or
provision of livelihoods, but allows monetary compensation only. While the
earlier Rehabilitation Policy of 2007 was never implemented the new changes
seek to eliminate the role of Gramsabhas and Local Self Government
institutions. Affected people shall not even have the right to approach the
courts of law as new Act proposes to create merely an “Authority” to deal
with cash compensation.

THESE TWO DRAFT AMENDMENTS ARE BEING PLACED BEFORE CURRENT SESSION OF
PARLIAMENT AS THEY WERE PASSED ONLY IN THE LOK SABHA BUT NOT IN THE RAJYA SABHA
EARLIER.

Peoples’ Organisations had prepared a comprehensive draft after nationwide
consultation on the National Development Planning Act based on equality and
justice in 2006 and forwarded it to the then UPA government with the
endorsement of the National Advisory Council and its Chairperson Smt. Sonia
Gandhi. Ignoring all this two new drafts that are being brought before
Parliament are not only extremely weak but will also increase the pace of
displacement. It is therefore imperative for Peoples’ Movements, to unitedly
raise our strongest voice during this very Parliament in session.

WE DEMAND A DECENTRALIZED DEVELOPMENT PLANNING ACT BASED ON ARTICLE 243 OF THE
CONSTITUTION, PESA 1996 AND FOREST RIGHTS ACT, 2006 AND URGE THE GOVERNMENT TO
IMMEDIATELY:

1.      REPEAL THE LAND ACQUISITION ACT OF BRITISH LEGACY

2.      ISSUE A WHITE PAPER ON LAND ACQUISITION, DISPLACEMENT AND
REHABILITATION FOR THE LAST 60 YEARS.

3.      SHELVE THE TWO BILLS IN THEIR PRESENT FORM AND HOLD A NATIONAL
CONSULTATION ON THE NAC APPROVED DRAFT ALONG WITH THE DISPLACED PEOPLE AND THE
PEOPLE’S ORGANISATIONS.

4.      INSTITUTE A JOINT PARLIAMENTARY STANDING COMMITTEE FOR THE ENACTMENT OF
THE COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING ACT.

IN SOLIDARITY,

Medha Patkar – NAPM/NBA

Sandeep Pandey – NAPM / Aasha Parivaar

Gautam Bandopadhyay – Nadi Ghati Morcha

Shaktiman Ghosh – National Hawkers Federation

Ashok Chowdhury & Pushpa – NFFPFW

Bhupendra Rawat – Jan Sangharsh Vahini

Suniti S R – Visthapan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti

Rajendra Ravi – NAPM, Delhi

Simpreet Singh – Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan

Dayamani Barla – INSAF

P Chennaiah – APVVU

Gabriele/Geeta Ramakrishnan – NMPS

Venkatesh – NAPM, Karnatak

Sandhya Devi – Kalahandi Mahila Mahasangh

Anand Mazgaonkar – Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

Ulka Mahajan – SEZ-Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti

Vimalbhai – Matu Jan Sangathan

%d bloggers like this: