Mamata Opposes Provision in Land Acquisition Act

In a Cabinet meeting held on Thursday evening, Railway Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is believed to have put up a serious objection to a bill pertaining to land acquisition for industrialisation and rehabilitation of the land loser.

As per information, the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill 2007 and the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill was discussed in the meeting for around 3 hours.

Sources said that Banerjee was against a major provision in the bill providing for private developers to acquire 70 per cent of the land for a proposed industrial project directly from the farmers and landowners. As per the provisions of the proposed amendment bill, rest of 30 per cent is to be acquired by the state government.

Banerjee, who was at the forefront of the agitations in Nandigram and Singur in West Bengal against the acquisition of land for the TATA Nano project last year, strongly demanded penal provisions to check the use of money and muscle power by private developers while acquiring land from the farmers, Cabinet sources said.

The new amendment falls short of protecting poor farmers as the rehabilitation and resettlement is not fully guaranteed by the provisions of the bill, Banerjee had argued.

Meanwhile, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), which is led by social activist Medha Patkar, staged a demonstration in the capital against the proposed land acquisition bill.

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