Ranchi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday that the Narendra Modi government was weighing amendments in the land acquisition act to speed up development projects. The announcement made activists in the state raise questions about rehabilitation package and human rights.
Gadkari said many projects were delayed because of certain clauses in the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
"We have uploaded a draft policy on the ministry website, inviting suggestions and objections from common people and stakeholders, still the process of amendment is cumbersome as we want to take the political parties and state governments into confidence," he said.
Asked if the concerns expressed by some of the political groups and activists that the amendments primarily aim at giving corporates and industrial houses easy access to land, compromising with the rights of land owners, Gadkari said that the provisions for compensation and resettlement would not be tampered with.
"We can assure that the compensation clause and the rehabilitation and resettlement provisions would not be compromised and changes, if any, would be aimed at making them more attractive," he said. Gadkari further stressed that certain clauses in the Act which is inordinately delaying, clearances would be amended.
While industrial houses, many of which have not been able to start their operations in Jharkhand due to land hurdle are seeing a ray of hope, Jharkhand based tribal activist, Dayamani Barla said their protest would start and soon assume a national character.
"Land right activists and anti-displacement groups from Rajasthan have contacted us and we have held meeting with CPIML general secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya yesterday to form a national platform for all 'people's movement' to stop the government from legislating anti-people and pro corporate laws," she said.