NEW DELHI: As the Modi government struggles to get the land bill passed, key RSS affiliates have slammed as "detestable and unacceptable" several provisions in the ordinance brought by it replacing the Land Acquisition Law passed by the UPA dispensation.
They have pitched against the proposed legislation of the NDA government in its present form and insisted on incorporation of the consent clause and social impact assessment in the new law. Swadeshi Jagran Manch, an RSS outfit, has also demanded that change of land use not be allowed and land not developed for five years be returned to the original owners. Another RSS affiliate, Bhartiya Kisan Sangh, has called for consent of at least 51 per cent of farmers being taken before land is required.
In its written submission to the Joint Committee of Parliament looking into the bill, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has said the 2014 Land Ordinance replaced the 2013 Act, passed by the UPA government, "in undue hurry" and the re-promulgated Ordinance contains several "detestable and unacceptable" sections even after incorporation of several amendments. Joining forces with opposition parties, the Manch said, "SJM is of the considered view that the LAAR Act 2013 passed by the Parliament unanimously was replaced by LAAR (Amendment) ordinance 2014 in undue hurry.
"Re-promulgated LAAR (Amendment) ordinance issued on April 3, 2015 contains several detestable and unacceptable sections, even after incorporation of several amendments that have been included in 2015 ordinance under intense public pressure," Manch's national co-convener Ashwani Mahajan said in its submission before the panel. The Manch said as per internationally established practice, a project could be undertaken only after making social and environmental impact assessment, something which is followed by World Bank even for roads built by its funding.
"Why the same should not be followed by Government of India in construction of Public-Private Partnership infrastructure projects? "This well-established practice has been violated in the new ordinance, which is against natural justice for those affected by proposed land acquisition," Mahajan said.
The Manch said, "Swadeshi Jagran Manch demands from the government that – Consent of farmers ensured before land acquisition on any kind. Have a comprehensive assessment about need, social and environmental impact of the land acquisition before actual acquisition."