#India- Do you know who’s afraid of the new land bill ? Maharashtra Government


Stop forceful land acquisition for Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor project, say farmers of Raigad

Author(s):
Akshay Deshmane
Issue Date:
2013-5-2

They want state to follow the proposed land acquisition Bill likely to be passed soon by Parliament

The Land Acquisition (Rehabilitation and Resettlement) Bill, 2011, which is close to being passed by Parliament after political parties arrived at a consensus on it last month, has found supporters among those fighting forceful displacement and land acquisition for industrial projects in Maharashtra. On the occasion of Maharashtra day on May 1, the Farmers’ Anti-corridor Struggle Action Committee, an outfit of peasants from 78 villages of Raigad district, submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, demanding complete halt to ongoing land acquisition for the ambitious Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project till the new law comes into force.

“The state government must immediately halt the current acquisition process and follow the Central government guidelines against forceful acquisition. The Bill concerning land acquisition and rehabilitation is still being discussed by Parliament; then why the hurry in acquiring land from farmers? Or is it a deliberate ploy to not let the provisions of the new Act be applicable to the ongoing acquisitions? ” the committee demanded to know in the memorandum.

Industrial corridor will occupy over 27,000 ha in Raigad

Three talukas from the Raigad district-Mangaon, Roha and Tala-stand to lose 67,500 acres (27, 316 hectares) of land to the Dighi Port Industrial Region, under which five industrial areas have been planned; they are Roha-Mangaon Industrial area (3,367 hectares), Palasgaon Industrial Area (1,173 hectares), Pansai Industrial Area (2,829 hectares), Vavedivali Industrial Area (1,255 hectares) and Nizampur Industrial Area (4,508 hectares). According to official data, nearly 18 per cent geographical area of Maharashtra will be impacted by DMIC. In absolute area terms, 56,760 sq km will be influenced by the multi-billion dollar project.

DMIC, a US $90 billion mega-infrastructure project, is to be implemented with financial and technical aid from the government of Japan. The DMIC region comprises parts of seven states (Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra) and two Union Territories (Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu) and is planned along the1,483-km-long western Dedicated Railway Freight Corridor. In Raigad alone, at least 67,500 acres (27, 316 hectares) in 78 villages are set to be acquired for the project by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). Forty-two of these 78 villages have already been served land acquisition notices.

After an open meeting of hundreds of farmers from Raigad district at the historic Azad Maidan, senior member of the farmers’ committee, Ulka Mahajan, detailed the reasons for their opposition. “The state government is making use of the controversial Maharashtra Industrial Development Act, 1961, hastily for DMIC land acquisition to avoid applying provisions of the new land acquisition and rehabilitation Act. There is more space for resisting forceful land acquisition in the new law. While consent of 70 per cent land owners is required in public-private-partnership projects, in private projects consent of 80 per cent land owners is obligatory,” explained Mahajan.

Since April 10, the farmers’ action committee has been protesting outside the office of the sub-divisional officer in Mangaon against land acquisition which began in mid-2012. “The protests will go on till May 6 as 42 of the 78 villages that have been served land acquisition notices will have finished their individual daily protests at the Mangaon office. Veteran peasants’ leader N D Patil will then take up the issue with the chief minister,” said Mahajan.

Despite repeated attempts, officials from the industries department remained unavailable for comment.

After 19 months of hectic negotiations between the government and opposition parties, the land bill is expected to be passed by the Parliament soon. On April 18, the government claimed that all major political parties have reached a “broad consensus” on the bill [1]. The industry was quick to express apprehensions about it. “This bill, as per our understanding, will further prolong the process of land acquisition for industry. It would take three to five years on an average to acquire land. Moreover, we understand that the bill still provides for consent from 80 per cent of the affected families which will delay the process and also act as a deterrent for the industry,” said A Didar Singh, secretary general, Federation of Indian Chambers for Commerce and Industry, in an official statement on the same day.


Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/stop-forceful-land-acquisition-delhi-mumbai-industrial-corridor-project-say-farmers-raigad

 

Press Release- Indefinite Dharna against forced acquisition for Delhi Mumbai Industrial corridor in Raigad, Maharashtra


NAPM Extends Solidarity to the Indefinite Dharna in Raigad District against forced land acquisition for DMIC Project

[See below press Release from Jagatikikaran Vriodhi Kruti Samiti and photos]

New Delhi / Mumbai, April 17 : Supporting the indefinite dharna of the farmers and workers of Raigad district National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has written to the Chief Minister, Maharashtra asking him to stop the forceful land acquisition for the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC). Since, April 10th, in Mangaon under the aegis of Sarvahara Jan Andolan – Jagatikikaran Vriodhi Kruti Samiti, farmers and labourers from 69 villages have been sitting on an indefinite dharna with one village coming together each day infront of SDO office. They are protesting since, 9715 families of 69 villages in Maangaon, Roha and Tala Talukas have received notifications for acquisition of a total of 24,207 acres of land for Dighi Industrial Area part of DMIC corridor. In fact total of 67,500 acres from 78 villages of these three talukas are to be acquired. MIDC has already acquired 2000 hectares of land since 1985 at the rate of 20/25,000 Rs per acre, of which land has been given to Jindal, POSCO and others. There is no record of percentage land utilised and unutilised with MIDC, even though in the past fifty years it has acquired more than 13 lakh acres of land. The provisions of MIDC Act is more draconian than Land Acquisition Act, 1894, which leaves little scope for the consent of the affected population.

The current notifications issued to farmers are illegal since the issuing authority SDO does not have the power to issue notifications of land above the price of Rs. 50, 000. However, the current rate as per MIDC’s own notification is Rs. 40 lakhs per acre. Farmers who are protesting this, you may recall, had forced the state government to cancel the Raigad SEZ that was being developed by the Reliance earlier but the land in the same region is now under threat of acquisition once again.

In second – third week of March this year NAPM undertook a yatra along the route of DMIC Corridor starting from Mumbai on Women’s Day and culminating in Delhi on March 18th in a 20,000 strong farmers and workers Mahapanchyat saying no to forced land acquisition and need to address crisis in Indian agriculture. We wonder what is the tearing hurry when a new Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill is near finalisation in the Parliament.

In Aurangabad, under DMIC and associated state government projects, if things go as planned, 234000 hectares land of 362 villages will be acquired in the name of development in a region which is witnessing the worst draught in many years. Most of the ground water and surface water sources, livelihood dependent on agriculture are already under extreme stress. With the plans for the land acquisition for various projects, there will be a disaster in the whole region for the those leaving on the margins, forcing large scale migrations and impoverishment.

In many of the places where DMIC is supposed to come up, neither the people nor the democratically elected representatives are aware of this monstrosity or their consent has been sought. We believe that hard – earned freedom and democratic rights of the people, as enshrined in the Constitution of India are at stake here. Indian Constitution has provided for the state’s mandate to involve and promote role of all citizens in the planning under number of articles, esp. 243-244. However, the DMIC authorities have violated all of these provisions, since the deal and plans have been finalized by the Union and State government and that too by some bureaucrats without consulting the democratically elected bodies.

Forcible acquisition of land in the name of industrial and city development will only lead to development of real estate and land grab, bringing not prosperity, but impoverishment to the existing population. The past experience tells us that claims of employment generation and absorbing the affected remain largely on paper. Transforming the economic pursuits cannot happen overnight, involuntarily. That this plan with huge impacts on the targeted corridor region, esp. the Investment Region and Industrial Areas cannot and should not be finalised without a full-fledged public debate within the directly affected areas at the state level.

NAPM demands that the Government of Maharashtra reviews the whole plan and initiate a public dialogue on the DMIC plan and projects therein. We demand that the state government should pro-actively provide all information about the total plan and projects to the citizens including the affected, and no forced acquisition of land be attempted at any cost.

Farmers of Raigad had earlier forced the cancellation of SEZ and once again they will challenge at any cost the forcible land acquisition. NAPM supports their struggle and stands in their resolve to struggle.

Medha Patkar, Suniti S R, Prafulla Samantara, Dr. Sunilam, Arundhati Dhuru, Vilas Bhongade, Bhupinder Singh Rawat, Vijay Diwan, Vimal Bhai, Prasad Bagwe, Anand Mazgaonkar, Krishnakant, Rajendra Ravi, Madhuresh Kumar

Contact: 09818905316 | napmindia@gmail.com

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Jagatikikaran Virodhi Kruti Samiti

Indefinite Dharna against forced acquisition for Delhi Mumbai Industrial corridor in Raigad, Maharashtra

Mangon / Mumbai, April 17 : The farmers and workers of Raigad district are on an indefinite dharna in front of Sub divisional office at Mangaon dist. Raigad, Maharashtra since April 10th. They have been served notices for acquisition of their land under the Maharashtra Industrial Corporation Act. 67,500 acres of land is to be acquired for Dighi port industrial area as a node in Proposed Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. Farmers from 78 villages under Mangaon, Roha and Tala Tahsils would become completely landless.

All the village Panchayats have unanimously resolved not to give their land for this disastrous and pro corporate project, which has been undemocratically planned too. However the state govt. has not taken any cognizance so far. The panchayats have been further asked to surrender their common property lands and give NOC for it’s transfer. This has created a lot of unrest amongst farmers. The individual notices have been issued to six villages and the 7/12 extracts of all the lands in these villages have been stamped and reserved for the proposed corridor.

How are we going to survive if we lose entire land, the only source of our livelihood, ask the farmers. They don’t trust the govt and it’s assurances as the experience in the past has been totally negative. Why govt is in a hurry to grab the lands before the new land acquisition bill gets passed at the Centre which gives space to the farmers to express their opinions, ask the farmers. Despite the directions given by the Union ministry forced and compulsory acquisition is going on. The irrigated as well as good amount of fertile paddy fields are being acquired. This has enraged the farmers further.

The dharna started on 10th April in the presence of Mr. N. D. Patil, and several activists from various parts of the state, under the banner of Jagatikikaran Virodhi Kruti Samiti. Every day one village comes to dharana to express their resolve not to part with their lands, in big numbers with women and children.

Detailed project report of this project has not been prepared yet. Environment impact assessment is also not done. Why the govt is in hurry then? Asks Ulka Mahajan who is leading the struggle. The govt. sources are not ready to disclose any information nor is there any transparency. This creates a lot of doubts in the minds of the farmers.

Sub Divisional officer Mangaon has been appointed as land acquisition authority , who has powers to fix the compensation upto 50,000 Rs. per acre according to the notice issued to the farmers. However the guardian minister of the dist. Mr. Suneel Tatkare, declared that he would try to give 10 lakh rs. per acre. The farmers laugh at this attempt and they don’t want to give the lands even if the compensation is increased. Recently the residents of Raigad presently living in Mumbai got organized and decided to launch agitation against this forced acquisition in Mumbai on 1st May at Azad Maidan.

The dharana would continue till mid May 2013, till every village registers it’s protest. Several groups and associations such as bar association, Patrakar Sangh, doctor’ association, have declared their support to the agitation.

Ulka Mahajan (9869232478)

===============================================

National Alliance of People’s Movements
National Office : 6/6, Jangpura B, Mathura Road, New Delhi 110014
Phone : 011 26241167 / 24354737 Mobile : 09818905316
Web : www.napm-india.org

Twitter : @napmindia

 

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