Equity of Land Acquisition

In an Op Ed published in today’s New Indian Express, I analyse the provisions of the proposed Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2011 in light of the functioning of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 over the past century. I identify four main problems with the conception and practice of state acquisition of land in India and analyse whether the LARR bill addresses these issues. Based on my analysis, I conclude that,

“The LARR Bill is undoubtedly a step in the right direction of ushering in a culture of justification wherein the government is required to explain and engage with the people it dispossesses of their lands, livelihoods, and way of life, of the legitimacy and necessity of such dispossession. But it must be suitably revised in light of evidence of current state practices if the government’s promise to enact an equitable and transparent land acquisition law has any chance of becoming a reality”.

I have previously written about some of the issues involved in land acquisition here. Other discussions about land acquisition on this blog can be accessed here and here.
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