Land acquisition has been a bone of contention between people and the government for some time. Critics of the government policy allege that the government acquires land on behalf of corporations and sells them at throwaway prices.
A couple of months back all this came to a head, when villages in Noida went on a protest against the acquisition of land in their villages. The Tata’s Singur debacle is a case in point.
Today the Allahabad High Court voided the land acquisition in three Uttar Pradesh villages. The congress has said that it will bring in a new land acquisition law ‘soon’.
This issue is a very pertinent and a deeply troubling one for India. Through this act, forest land which is the home of many tribals, is sold to corporation depriving them of a home. Land in acquired in villages and then sold off to corporations.
This is a tussle between a rapidly expanding Indian economy which requires land, and the rights of those who actually live on that land.
Reacting after the court cancelled acquisition of all land in two Greater Noida villages and one in Noida, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “No judgment can satisfy all classes.”
He said one could appeal “because this is not the final judgment, and second and most important is a fundamental change in the national acquisition law which is actively in progress but of course it will take some time”.
“No judgment can satisfy all classes… either it hurts painfully those who sold their lands or those who have purchased newly-constructed flats or it hurts others,” he added.
The court also raised compensation to farmers in 60 other villages by 64 percent. It called for immediate suspension of all construction and urbanization activity in 40 villages of Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh until a clearance was obtained from an officer of the rank of principal secretary that the work was in accordance with the norms laid down by the National Capital Region (NCR) Board.
“Unfortunately there has been a delay in making this law because the Congress has always desired that every stakeholder, different states, different parts of India travel together on this important issue.”
According to Singhvi, the process of building a consensus on the issue has taken time.