By Murari Chaturvedi , Editor-in Chief
At long last the Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2012 was passed by the Rajya Sabha: albeit with many riders. Under the new system before any process of acquisition is initiated there must first be a Social Impact Assessment (SIA). The bill seeks to provide just and fair compensation to farmers and also ensuring that no land can be acquired forcibly. The recently passed land acquisition bill will replace the archaic Act of 1894. The bill proposes compensation up to four times the market value in rural areas and two times of market value in urban areas. The bill envisages compensation also to those who will lose their livelihood from land acquisition for Rehabilitation and Resettlement the Act provide new provisions and links them to those related to land acquisition. Housing for all official families to a house provided they have been residing in the area for five years or more. The scheduled tribes shall be resettled preferably in the same scheduled area so that they can retail their ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity. Infrastructural amenities must also be provided in the displaced and affected families are being resettled. These facilities include school, road, medical centre etc. for rural population. There are many such provisions and schemes, where land is to be acquired, but for urban areas the Act is silent.
The provisions for the displaced persons should be just and clearly mentioned even in the urban areas. It is true that the lands on massive scale are needed for the infrastructural projects as well as for the industries. The Act satisfies most of the parameters. One thing which will trouble the rural persons displaced by the land acquisition is the there are many authorities and mandatory public hearings of the entire process, which the rural population many not understand. There are chances that the various terms conditions may be misquoted by the implementation officials to the rural masses resulting utter chaos in the land acquisitions. There should be clarity in the process and fewer officials to deal.