NAPM Request to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for Compensation and Transparency in Land Bill 2015

New Delhi : Responding to the newspaper advertisements inviting submissions from the public at large on “The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment Bill, 2015), NAPM, an alliance of 250 plus people’s movements from across the country led by Medha Patkar has asked for extending the time for receiving inputs from public.

In a letter addressed to S S Ahluwalia, Chairperson, of the Committee, they said, After the consistent pressure and opposition, the NDA government has referred this to the Joint Parliamentary Committee headed by you and consisting of members of both the houses. However, your Committee has only given a two week notice to make submissions, which we feel is extremely insufficient for many groups and mass organisations to detail threadbare and bring out their comments, which requires more time.

they said, Through this letter, we also want to suggest that Joint Parliamentary Committee must reach out to the farmers and workers of this country and hold wider consultations, public meetings and public hearings on the Bill. The majority of Indian citizens affected by land acquisition live in rural areas, so it is necessary and important to hold consultations to discuss the current draft in rural areas, especially where local communities have been affected by past or present experiences of land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement. From Kalinga Nagar and Dhinkia to Narmada, Sompetta, Raigarh, Madurai, Mundra, Kanhar, Bhatta Parsaul, Jashpur, Dholera, and many others, people resisting illegal land acquisitions will welcome the move of the Committee and democratic spirit of engagement behind that.

they said, We understand that the Committee wants to complete its deliberations at the earliest; however, the matter of this importance can’t be dealt away in such hurry. We believe that 2013 Act, amended after 114 years, and having vetted by two Parliamentary Standing Committees and debated over seven years inside and outside the Parliament should be given more time for deliberation.

they said, We sincerely hope that the Committee would give due recognition to our demand and extend the deadline for the submissions atleast by a month until July 8th and also organise wider public consultations and hearings in affected areas, as has been done on previous occasions by the other Committees.

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