CHARGE 1: STATE AMENDMENTS HAVE LEGALISED FORCIBLE LAND ACQUISITION AND DENYING RIGHT TO R&R
- Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Telangana governments have brought in amendments to central land acquisition act, 2013. They have also brought in the amendments with retrospective effect, from January 1, 2014, in effect nullifying any application of LARR 2013 in their state.
- Exempting Large categories of projects from provisions related to Consent, Social Impact Assessment, Objections, Local bodies’ participation etc. have been given exemption from important consent provisions, social impact assessment, participation of representative of local bodies like gram sabha in the SIA study and expert appraisal processes, public hearings, objections, and safeguard provisions to safeguard food security.
CHARGE 2: DILUTION OF PROVISIONS OF RETURN OF UNUTILISED LAND
- The RFCTLARRA 2013 provides for return of unutilised land to landowners or their legal heirs when acquired land remained unutilised for over 5 years. The Act also gives states the discretion to add unclaimed land to the state land bank. But, under the new rules, some states like Jharkhand, Karnataka, Odisha, Sikkim and Telangana have unnecessarily complicated the conditions for claiming such land back and hence have facilitated direct transfer of such land to the state land bank.
- The spirit of land bank was originally to provide land to landless which has now changed to facilitate transfer of land to industry/ private players.
- LARR 2013 also has a clause for initiation of fresh acquisition process or return of land to the original occupants or to Land Bank, if the compensation to majority of affected people is not paid after declaration of Award, or possession undertaken within a stipulated time of five years. In almost all state amendments, it is tried to either extend the period of making the acquisition void, or changing the mandatory payment of Award to beneficiaries in their account by depositing the compensation with the court or the State treasury. This nullifies any protest actions and non-acceptance of Award by project affected communities and takes away their right to consent.
CHARGE 3: ATTEMPT FOR MONETARY COMPENSATION WHILE DILUTING PROVISIONS FOR RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION OF DISPLACED
- The Draft Land Acquisition Bill of Rajasthan tries to do away with R&R by making provisions for compensating all in monetary terms.
- Other states have expressed similar interest to make their own LA Bill and introduce such anti-people provisions. The four-times-more formula for compensation guaranteed by the RFCTLARRA is subverted in states like Madhya Pradesh and Haryana who have kept the same multiplication factor (double compensation) for both rural and urban areas.
CHARGE 4: ATTEMPTS TO ACQUIRE IRRIGATED MULTI CROPPED LAND FOR NON AGRICULTURE PURPOSES
- RFCTLARRA 2013 gives clear priority to ‘no acquisition’ of irrigated multi-cropped land but states like Odisha and Assam facilitate acquisition of agricultural land by introducing the provision of ‘develop an equivalent area of wasteland for agricultural purposes’ in lieu of prime agricultural land.
- States like Gujarat have also facilitated the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes by diluting the clearance processes for such conversion.
CHARGE 5: INCLUSION OF VOLUNTARY LAND ACQUISITION AND ADDITION OF SECTION 31A AS AMENDMENTS
- Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not only diluted some key provisions of the central act but also brought in provisions of voluntary land acquisition under which they can enter into mutual agreement with land owners and into a system of payment of lumpsum amount to other affected persons for R&R.
- LARR 2013 placed other affected persons under purview of R&R and consent provisions. However, the state level amendments negate this and are likely to bring in money and muscle power for land grabbing. Other states have brought Section 31A to pay the lumpsum amount in case of projects exempted from SIA and Consent provisions as listed in Sec. 10A.
- The limit of acquisition of land through Private Negotiation with owners of land in different states is alarmingly kept high in which the R&R will also not be applicable. The power to define the limit has been given to individual states under Section 2(3) and further in detail under section 46 of the RFCTLARRA 2013.
CHARGE 6: GUJRAT REMOVED PARLIAMENT’S ROLE FROM INVOKING URGENCY CLAUSE FOR LAND ACQUISITION
- Gujarat Government ruled out the role of Parliament in approving the urgency clause mentioned in Section 40 of the central act.
CHARGE 7: TAMIL NADU’S FIFTH SCHEDULE TO EXCLUDE LAND ACQUISITION FOR INDUSTRIAL PURPOSES
- Tamil Nadu simply brought in exemption wholly to land acquisition for industrial purpose, unlike other states which tinkered with different provisions! It’s a complete denial of taking consent from people, providing R&R, participation of local bodies in approval and rejection of projects etc.
CHARGE 8: PUBLIC PRIVATE PATERNSHIPS TAKE PRECEDENCE OVER LANDOWNERS CONSENT
- The concern with these projects is that taxpayers’ money is spent while acquiring land and creating infrastructure, whereas in the profit-making stage, private players take away the maximum share. LARR Act 2013 mandates at least 70% consent of landowners, for PPP projects.
- State amendments have removed the consent clause for PPP, paving way for many private projects to run under the garb of PPP.
CHARGE 9: LAND POOLING – A MISLEADING COINAGE FOR ACQUISITION
- State Governments are misleading farmers and communities by using the system of Land Pooling instead of acquisition as a clever use of new terminology, to legally bypass LARRA 2013 provisions and can end up violating the rights of land owners and others, especially landless agricultural labour. Amravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh is using this model for acquiring more than 12,200 hectares (ha) of prime agricultural land on the banks of River Krishna, for the core capital city which alone will displace more than 90,000 marginal farmers, lease holders, agricultural workers and other unorganised workers who comprise 80% of the total population.
- Likewise, Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana Government have also brought in land pooling schemes in their respective states.
CHARGE 10: CONSENT LAND PURCHASE POLICY FOXES LANDOWNERS
- States like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have brought in other ways to take away land from the people under the name of Consent Land Purchase Policy enabling the government or its agencies to directly purchase land from land owners and pay a lump-sum amount. Such a consent land purchase policy only talks about land owners and completely ignores the broad definition of affected persons or families which are mentioned in central act.
- Negating food security which is an important chapter and which is to be protected, as per the Central Act, Chhattisgarh has brought in multi cropped irrigated agricultural land under the purview of land purchase.