Proposed Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation And Resettlement Bill, 2011: Our Views (Part-I)

We are going to discuss the pertinent paragraphs and the sections of the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011and analyze its impact on the denizens of Jharkhand.

Land taken away for Coal Mining in Jharkhand
Land taken away for Coal Mining in Jharkhand

 

The opening paragraph of the said Bill goes like this:

“A Bill to ensure a humane, participatory, informed consultative and transparent process for land acquisition for industrialization, development of essential infrastructural facilities and urbanization with the least disturbance to the owners of the land and other affected families and provide just and fair compensation to the affected families whose land has been acquired or proposed to be acquired or are affected by such acquisition and make adequate provisions for such affected persons for their rehabilitation and resettlement thereof, and for ensuring that the cumulative outcome of compulsory acquisition should be that affected persons become partners in development leading to an improvement in their post acquisition social and economic status and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.”

Our Remarks:

The proposed Bill makes all the right kind of noises for the benefit of the affected families, but as we know there is always a slip between cup and the lip in India, more so in Jharkhand. The real challenge will be to implement the provisions of the Bill in letter and in spirit. As across India, including Jharkhand state, the acquisition of land remains a highly emotive issue for the affected families, particularly the displaced Tribal Communities of the state, for many of whom their Land is their only asset, only asset that is productive, the asset that ensures that they not only get food but it also helps them to take care of their other needs.

II. DETERMINATION OF SOCIAL IMPACT AND PUBLIC PURPOSE

4. (1) Whenever the appropriate Government intends to acquire land for a public purpose, it shall carry out a Social Impact Assessment study in consultation with the Gram Sabha at habitation level or equivalent body in urban areas, in the affected area in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed.

5. Whenever a Social Impact Assessment is required to be prepared under section 4, the appropriate Government shall ensure that a public hearing is held at the affected area, after giving adequate publicity about the date, time and venue for the public hearing, to ascertain the views of the affected families to be recorded and included in the Social Impact

6. (1) The appropriate Government shall ensure that the Social Impact Assessment study report is prepared and published in the affected area, in such manner as may be prescribed, and uploaded on a website created especially for this purpose.

Our Remarks:

The Social Impact Assessmentis a good idea, but it needs to be undertaken in transparent and honest manner by the government authorities to over-come the trust-deficit among the people living in the tribal region of Jharkhand.

III. SPECIAL PROVISION TO SAFEGUARD FOOD SECURITY

10. (1) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2), no irrigated multi-cropped land shall be acquired under this Act.

(2) Such land may be acquired subject to the condition that it is being done under exceptional circumstances, as a demonstrable last resort, where the acquisition of the land referred to in sub-section (1) shall, in aggregate for all projects in a district, in no case exceed 5% of the total irrigated multi-crop area in that district.

(3) Whenever multi-crop irrigated land is acquired under sub-section (2), an equivalent area of culturable wasteland shall be developed for agricultural purposes.

Our Remarks:

Again these are good ideas, but in the past similar tract of lands were acquired under one pretext or another in Jharkhand.

IV. NOTIFICATION AND ACQUISITION

Preparation of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Scheme by the Administrator

17. (1) Upon the publication of the preliminary notification under sub-section (1) of section 11 by the Collector, the Administrator for Rehabilitation and Resettlement shall conduct a survey and undertake a census of the affected families, in such manner and within such time as may be prescribed, which shall include—

(a) particulars of lands and immovable properties being acquired of each affected family;

(b) livelihoods lost in respect of land losers and landless whose livelihoods are primarily dependent on the lands being acquired;

(c) a list of public utilities and Government buildings which are affected or likely to be affected, where resettlement of affected families is involved; and

(d) details of the amenities and infrastructural facilities which are affected or likely to be affected, where resettlement of affected families is involved.

(2) The Administrator shall, based on the survey and census under sub-section (1), prepare a draft Rehabilitation and Resettlement Scheme, as prescribed which shall include particulars of the rehabilitation and resettlement entitlements of each land owner and landless whose livelihoods are primarily dependent on the lands being acquired and where resettlement of affected families is involved—

(i) a list of Government buildings to be provided in the Resettlement area;

(ii) details of the public amenities and infrastructural facilities which are to be provided in the resettlement area.

(5) A public hearing shall be conducted in such manner as may be prescribed, after giving adequate publicity about the date, time and venue for the public hearing at the affected area: Provided that in case where an affected area involves more than one Gram Panchayat or Municipality, public hearings shall be conducted in every Gram Sabha and Municipality: Provided further that the consultation with the Gram Sabha in Scheduled Areas under the 5th Schedule shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996.

25. The Collector shall make an award within a period of two years from the date of publication of the declaration under section 19 and if no award is made within that period, the entire proceedings for the acquisition of the land shall lapse.

Our Remarks:

Again thisis a good idea, but in the many R&R promises were not fulfilled by the government authorities in Jharkhand, hence the past records in Jharkhand do not inspire much confidence.

 

To read the next part of the story click here Part-II.

Team Focus

Team Focus

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.
Team Focus
Team Focus

Written by

We are bunch of commoners and our bloggers' e-magazine focuses on the AlterNative Voices from Jharkhand, India.

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