BENGALURU: People in rural areas will soon have a major say in the government acquiring their land or property for projects, if a proposed amendment to the Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act becomes a reality. Instead of applying the top-down model, the government will have to obtain clearance or an NoC from the local gram sabhas before going ahead with land acquisition.
The proposed amendment aims to give more teeth to gram panchayats to help them discharge their functions effectively.
Former speaker K R Ramesh Kumar, who heads the high-power committee on amendments to the Act, told TOI on Monday that such consultations will be a must for rehabilitating persons affected by development projects, giving mining leases or granting licence for liquor shops in villages.
"We will also explore legal options to see whether GPs can be given powers to say no to a project if they find it to be against public interest," the Congress MLA said at an interaction here.
The amendment also proposes to take the panchayat to people through habitation sabhas. "In several places, people are staying in habitations or small settlements very far from the Gram Panchayat village. Their voices are not heard as they are not able to attend meetings or participate in the functioning of the GP," said former MP C Narayanaswamy, the core committee chairman.
The government will table the report in the winter session of the legislature scheduled to be held in Belagavi in December.