Displacement

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According to the National Advisory Council 2, http://nac.nic.in/press_releases/25_may_2011.pdf   

Suggestions for Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2009 & Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2009, http://nac.nic.in/pdf/working_group_proposal_for_larr.pdf:  

•    The NAC has recommended that it is upto the states to decide the extent of percentage of the total land to be acquired by them. In principle, the NAC disagrees with the 70:30 formula.

•    Acquired land non-performing for five years should be returned to original owners is another recommendation of NAC, which has been also well received.  

•    Giving freedom to the industry to acquire land directly could result in large scale cheating and deception in tribal and poor areas of India.

•    The NAC has recently asked for consolidating the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2009 and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2009 under the title Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, 2011. The NAC wants a combined Bill instead of two separate bills since both the Bills are intrinsically inter-related, and having two separate Bills may lead to possibility of amending one without amending the other, and selective application of provisions of each Act, thereby defeating the purpose of providing justice and relief to those displaced.

•    Passing of separate bills will set in motion fragmented processes, causing confusion, delays, and therefore avoidable distress and suffering for the people. According to the NAC, a separate R&R Bill won't be required to address displacement due to natural disasters and communal and caste violence since there are separate laws being enacted for Natural Disasters and Communal Violence.

•    The NAC thinks that the proposed Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2009 does not explicitly mention the poor, and incorporates infrastructure and strategic interests. It has a provision for state acquisition of land for private for-profit companies. Section 5 of the Land Acquisition (Amendment Act) Bill, 2009 is silent on the nature of public interest proposed and the financial, social and environmental costs and benefits associated with a project.

Compensation

•    Project Affected Families (PAFs) can make a choice in the way compensation is offered- i.) as a lump-sum amount; ii.) 30% as a lumpsum amount, and the rest as an annuity at the rate of 12% interest escalating every year for 33 years; or iii.) The total value as an annuity at the rate of 12% interest escalating every year, for 33 years. The latter two would be adjusted for inflation by escalating every year by 10%.

•    Share-croppers, landless labourers, artisans et al should receive ten days’ minimum wage per month for thirty three years when land is acquired by the State for ‘public purposes’.

•    For such persons, there would be additional provisions for homestead land, training and employment rehabilitation in the rehabilitation and resettlement package.

•    The NAC has emphasized that lawfully recorded tenants and sharecroppers should be compensated (and paid solatium) for the parcels of land that they are losing, on an 80%:20% basis with the landowner being given 20%, which should not be less than four times their current income.

•    A minimum of 5% shares should be distributed (equitably) free of cost to PAFs (increased by 5% for every additional 100 acres acquired). If the Government is allowed to acquire land, then land owners and non-land owners who depended on that land should enjoy four times their present monthly income after acquisition.

•    The NAC has proposed that compensation for those who lose land will be six times the registered sale deed value including solatium.

Rehabilitation and Resettlement

•    The NAC has demanded transparency, public consulting, and prior informed consent during the process of land acquisition. The legal rights of Project Affected Families (PAFs) to challenge the entitlement cannot be withdrawn as it has been done under R&R Bill, 2009. Section 11 of the R&R Bill, 2009 needs to be amended so that all compensation must be paid and R&R for all affected persons must be completed in all aspects at least 6 months before taking possession.

•    Section 3(b) (ii) of the R&R Bill, 2009 does not mention the extent to which affected families have been deprived of their primary source of livelihood.

•    All individual entitlements, such as land for land (where applicable), housing, employment and training opportunities, should be compulsorily offered to all PAFs irrespective of size of acquisition as per the NAC. Compulsory provisions for land for land are non-negotiable in case of all tribal and dalit families (to discourage acquisition of tribal and dalit land) and all irrigation projects. There should be an authority like the Auditor General of Displacement and Rehabilitation (AG-DR) to find out after 5 or 10 years of displacement as to what is the present condition of those displaced.

•    Instead of the Government notifying what amenities are to be provided in resettlement sites as per the Section 30 of the R&R 2009 Bill, basic amenities like roads, safe drinking water, hygiene, educational facilities, community hall, and basic irrigation facilities should be present at resettlement sites. Every PAF family (and not just the BPL homeless families) should be given a built house and homestead land title.

•    Consent of 70 percent of the affected families in a gram sabha before acquisition is compulsory. A National Commission for Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation (NCLRR) should be established to assess extent of displacement based on the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and and urgency clause for land acquisition should be used for purposes such as defence, national security and safety of lives as per recommendations of the NAC. The SIA would assess the social and environmental impacts from the project, and the R&R plan drawn up.


According to the Standing Committee Report on the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2007
http://prsindia.org/uploads/media/Land%20Acquisition/scr12
26484896_SC_Report_Land_Acquisition_Bill__2008.pdf
:  

•    Optimum size of land required for a project needs to be determined so that excessive acquisition of land doesn't take place.

•    There should be some legislation like Forest Conservation Act 1980 so that agricultural land can be protected like forest land.

•    There is an urgent need to develop wasteland where agricultural land is acquired.

•    Since displacement leads to traumatic psychological and socio-cultural consequences, multiple displacements of affected families need to be avoided.

•    States should declare the area where the tribals are rehabilitated as Scheduled Area. Land rights of tribals and forest dwellers should be recognized as per the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 so that they are compensated and rehabilitated during the process of land acquisition.

•    The details of the property to be acquired viz. khasra numbers in rural areas and quarter number in urban areas should be identified and widely publicized through prominent local English, Hindi and regional language newspapers. There is a need to avoid complications arising due to inadequacy of communicating the intent of acquisition through notification especially in hilly, tribal and remote areas. In order to circulate notification on rehabilitation and resettlement, the Government should rely on newspapers in local vernacular.

•    Affected persons should be provided 60 days from the date of publication of the notification to object to the acquisition of land.

•    Social Impact Assessment study should be done for all projects that displace physically more than 400 families in plain and 200 families in hilly, tribal and scheduled areas (same as NAC recommendation).

•    Highest price of sale deed as indicated in the sale deeds of the last three years plus 50 per cent of the said highest price should be the criteria for assessing and determining the market value of the land. For tribal areas, the highest price of a sale deed of the adjoining non-tribal blocks/ village for the last three years plus 50 per cent should be the criteria for assessing and determining the market value of land.

•    Non agricultural land having valuable mineral resources underneath should be properly evaluated for granting compensation.

•    A share of the economic benefits earned due to setting up a project in a land, which is acquired should go to the affected families.

•    Issue of shares and debentures as part of the compensation is impractical and as such issue of shares and debentures should be over and above the admissible compensation. The rate of solatium should be increased from thirty per centum on market value to sixty per centum on market value.

•    Land Acquisition Compensation Disputes Settlement Authorities (a kind of Ombudsman) at the Centre and State level should be created for the disposal of disputes, which remain pending in the courts of law.

•    Record of large tracts of unutilized land available with various Ministries needs to be kept before further land acquisition.



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