HYDERABAD: The Telangana government is planning to make amendments to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) Act, 2013, Bhoomi Upadhi Hakkula Vedika (BUHV) has claimed.
Though there was no official statement from the government regarding the amendments, based on media reports the BUHV has decided to propose suggestions and changes in the Act before the government takes a decision, P. Shankar of BUHV said.
Claiming that the government has already formed a sub-committee to prepare the proposals for amendments, BUHV along with farmers and activists held a round table meeting at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram here on Wednesday.
Clauses of Land Acquisition Act that are related to the approval of land owners, social impact survey, employment and compensation guarantee to the family members of land owners and a key clause related to the ‘Multi -cropped irrigation land’ were among the proposed amendments, according to Usha Sita Laxmi, a scholar.
Farmers from various districts like Medak, Ranga Reddy and Khammam who attended the meet, demanded that the state government should withdraw its proposal to amend Land Acquisition Act. The meeting has unanimously decided to oppose any changes in the existing Act and also the R&R Act. Rather than making changes in the Act, the government should implement it proplery, the farmers opined.
Mallepalli Laxmaiah, president of the Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika, said that government should first settle pending payments to farmers and then think of any changes.
Farmers, who lost their lands in various projects including the controversial Polavaram project, want the government to consider factors like their social status and employment source for the R&R package. Those who don’t own irrigation land but depend on it for a living will lose their livelihood if the package is given only to land owners. Most of the tribals who lost their land for Polavaram project do not have revenue documents of their land. Hence the farmers requested the government to retain the existing clauses of both the Acts.
Farmers from Toopran mandal of Medak district alleged that they are yet to receive compensation for their lands which were taken away by the state government for Special Economic Zone nine years ago.
“There is no factory in our land. We did not even receive any compensation. Once I gave employment to more than 50 people, now I have to work for somebody else to make a living,” said Milaram Narasimhulu, a farmer from Kallakal village of Medak district.
BUHV proposes to submit the suggestions and recommendations made in the meeting to chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao. The organisation is also planning to conduct awareness meets in both the states about the Land Acquisition and R&R Act.