Sunday, June 13, 2021
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Create consensus on Land Acquisition Bill

The Regional Transport Office (RTO) issues driving license to the auto rickshaw driver without checking his antecedents. The organization fails to interview the driver to determine his character and mental makeup. It’s a big lapse on the part of the authorities who should be reprimanded besides awarding stiff punishment to the accused. Efforts must be taken to impart driving skills among women which will enable them to become better drivers. Women will also feel safe in autos and taxis driven by female drivers. There are not enough social organizations working for the cause of citizen development.

The RSS claims that it is a social and cultural organization but engages in government formation with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and blames the latter for releasing hardline separatist leader Masarat Alam. Sayeed later assured Home Minister Rajnath Singh that no separatist leader will be released without taking BJP into confidence. Citizen development is the prime need of our country today. People have become more demanding. There is lack of respect for women and children. Most of us expect everything for free without performing any duty.

The government has amended the Land Acquisition Bill which guarantees compulsory employment to one member of each family hit by the acquisition of their land. What government job and where? Why can’t they provide a job in the industry which is being set up? I read a report about Adani doing some good work for improving the health of senior citizens in Kutch. Actually, the entrepreneurs should perform all this rehabilitation work after providing training to suitable family members of the land owner. They are the ones who should really negotiate the purchase and local government and influential persons should work as facilitators. The aim should be to engage as many local residents as possible to work for and derive sustenance from the industry/utility being set up.

We talk of “vikas” or development. It should not mean creating concrete jungle. Development means increasing agricultural output by enhancing the production of pulses, wheat and rice. Efforts also must be taken to increase the production of fruits like mangoes, oranges, apples, bananas and grapes. Cattles should be nourished for increasing milk production.

Development does not mean installing more and more factories aimlessly without studying the consumer needs and the market. Farmers will readily agree to part with their land for power generation, distribution, water management and not to an invisible and unknown foreign direct investor. Effective persuasion plays a vital role in this exercise but the law does not make any mention about it. The government must create awareness among farmers and make them understand that they will benefit from the amended bill. This is the manner in which they can take the local people into confidence.

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