Land Acquisition Bill: A double-edged sword

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We had read reports about eminent personalities expressing their views pertaining to the Land Acquisition Bill. It’s an honour to become the President of India, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Lok Sabha speaker. You are entitled to receive several perks and above all a rare opportunity to serve the nation. But if you ask them whether they will donate half of their property to the nation, they will give some diplomatic answer and avoid you. Such kind of parliamentarians is framing legislation for the nation. Land acquisition is purely a local issue. The farmer is always in two minds, whether to sell his land or not. Somebody must offer him sound advice pertaining to this issue.

Women folk are more helpless as they say, “Bhaiya hamri kaun sunat hai”. The duty of the government is to provide assurance to the farmer that sale of land by him will not be detrimental to him and that it will be put to a good use. If an industrialist is acquiring the land it is his duty to convince the farmer and make all efforts to ensure that at least some members of the latter’s family are offered employment. Why do you talk about land as even villagers are very sentimental while selling their cattle? When a cow stopped giving milk, she is never sold. She was fed and looked after as usual.

For a farmer, giving away of the land is far more difficult than parting with his own son. The law makers must realize this, especially when many of them come from rural background. What is social impact assessment? It must be ensured that sale of land by the farmer should not have an adverse effect on his family’s future. If such a situation arises then the farmer should refrain from selling his land. He can produce three varieties of crops from it and look after his family. My advice to all my readers is that they should not sell their land for any unworthy purpose or to unscrupulous people. Grow crop, vegetables and fruits on the land and retain it. Industrialists should meet BJP and say, “Tumko itna rokda diya, ab zameen dilao”.

Plenty of unutilized land is available with the Port trusts and Railways which can be useful for productive purposes. Instead of building new projects it is necessary to first improve the existing infrastructure. The government must upgrade the Railways, air ports, existing roads, road transport and inefficient factories. If the government really needs to acquire land in the national interest they should approach the farmer and arrive at a consensus with him. They should convince the farmer and assure him to provide adequate compensation.