NEW DELHI: As the joint parliamentary committee on land bill resumed its weekly meetings, NGOs and farmer organisations attacked the government for making changes in the bill.
Activist Medha Patkar also appeared before the committee to put her points across against the bill which she described was against the interests of the farmers.
Referring to the Narmada Valley Projects against which Patkar had agitated, She said 'Social Impact Assessment' and 'Consent' clauses of Land Acquisition Act, should be retained.
"Narmada experience shows how without the two preconditions the project like Sardar Sarovar was pushed without a full or good plan and people's sanction, inevitably leading to controversies that continue to affect the project till date," she said.
Several organisations, including National Alliance for Farmers Movement (NAFM), All India Coordination Committee of Farmers, Bhartiya Kisan Union (A) and Shetkari Sangathan, also made their representation before the Joint Committee.
The NAFM made nine suggestions to the panel including land for land, house for house and employment for employment arrangements in rehabilitation of those affected by the land acquisition. They suggested that the farmers whose land is taken be given share of profit and enactment of a law to ensure that land with ongoing farming activities are not acquired.
Society for Justice, an organisation which made presentation before the committee, said that government of India should carry out a survey to identify waste or barren or desert land or land already acquired and not put to use either by the government or by the private entity concerned and create a "Land Bank" to plan future development.
The farmer bodies and the NGOs also rejected the government's claim that procedural difficulties in the acquisition of land for important national projects needed to be mitigated and hence changes were required and sought exemption from consent and social impact assessment in five categories.
The meeting will continue on Tuesday where more farmer bodies and research organisations would make their representations.