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Social activist Medha Patkar threatens nationwide stir, opposes change in Land Act

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 - 10:38pm IST | Place: Bhubaneshwar | Agency: PTI

Opposing possible changes in the Land Acquistion, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, 2013, social activist Medha Patkar on Tuesday warned the NDA government of a tough resistance across the country.

"Any changes in the new land acquisition Act is unacceptable to the people's movement and will face stiff resistance," Patkar told reporters here after attending a meeting of National Alliance of People's Movement here.

Mentioning about two key provisions like "consent" and "social impact assessment" of the Right to Fair Compensation, Transparency, Patkar said "the consent and SIA provision was introduced to do away with anomalies in the colonial Act since farmers and those dependant on the land were never consulted or made participant in the process of development planning." She said the new provisions came into being in the wake of protests at places like Nandigram, Singur, Kalinganagar and other places to repeal of the colonial Act.

"It will be retrograde step if we go back to the colonial process of forced land acquisition and no regard for impact of land acquisition on the people, environment and democratic institutions which need to be consulted and their consent taken in the process of SAI," she said.

Since the NDA government came to the power, a slew of changes have been proposed to the existing provisions of environment and forest clearance, Patkar said.

"The government seems to be in a hurry but the mandate from the people need not be confused as a license to trample upon the rights of the people and tinker with the existing laws which are to protect life, livelihood and environment," she said.




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