Congress urges President not to give assent to TS Land Bill
State leaders list reasons in memo
Hyderabad: The Congress party has appealed to President Pranab Mukherji to consider the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Telangana Amendment) Bill, 2016” and refuse approval if the State amendments were seen as a method to bypass critical safeguards and infringe upon the rights provided to the affected families.
A large Congress party delegation under the leadership of TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy met the President at Rashtrapathi Bhavan here on Friday evening and submitted a memorandum on Land Acquisition Act 2016 passed by the State government in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday. The Congress leaders also appealed to President that the State law be seen for what it is— an attempt to take away the hard fought rights and protections afforded to the affected families. All in the name of administrative convenience in land acquisition.
They alleged in the memorandum that section 107 of the Land Acquisition Act 2013 makes it clear no amendments can be carried out unless they enhance or improve the benefits and safeguards provided under the 2013 law. It is clear that the amendments made by Telangana State Government do not satisfy the requirements and instead seek to dilute the protections, safeguards and benefits given under the 2013 law. The sole purpose behind this is to make the process of acquiring land easier for the State authorities while curtailing the rights given to the people by the landmark 2013 law. The Congress party has mentioned in their memorandum that the amendments seek to convert the State government into a land mafia. The State government can also invoke the urgency for any type of acquisition of land and avoid carrying out the social impact assessment process which is required to determine if there is indeed a public purpose to justify the acquisition.
The amendments abandon the process of social impact assessment and preparation of social impact management plan. The amendments abandon the necessity for obtaining consent in case of acquisition of lands for private companies for public purpose. The amendments do away with the food security safeguards. The amendments provide for acquiring the land without providing for rehabilitation and resettlement measures. The amendments reduce the compensation payable to the land owners. The amendments, in fact, expand the scope of urgency clause by including any necessity as urgent. The amendments do not make any provision for enhancing the compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement provisions, the Congress leaders alleged. – NSS