Land

  • Land Acquisition Bill opposed

    The Himalayan Policy Campaign Committee, an umbrella organisation of various environmental groups, voluntary organisations and NGOs based in the Himalayan region has requested the Lok Sabha Standing Committee on Rural development to defer the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007 and Resettlement and Rehabilitation Bill, 2007. The committee while giving certain suggestions to be incorporated in the Bills has demanded that specialist NGOs and peoples groups on environmental issues should also be consulted. The governing body of the HPCC in a representation to the Chairman of Standing Committee Mr. Kalyan Singh has demanded that the Land Acquisition Act should be repealed since it leads to a disruption in the eco-systems. And when the ecosystems are damaged, destroyed or altered, it affects not only the communities and their livelihoods in the immediate vicinity but also downstream communities. Corporate rights The HPCC while raising the issue of corporate rights versus community rights said the later should be given preference since it is the community which was dependent on the natural resources and has natural rights on them from the time immemorial. Increasingly governments around the world are treating the notion of objectives of corporations as equal to national interest. This is grossly incorrect, says the HPCC. Any project that is decided on the merit of profit cannot be in national interest but in the interest of shareholders of a corporation. Therefore, national interest should be restricted to only security concerns, demanded the NGO. The HPCC is objecting to rampant construction of hydro electric projects in Himachal Pradesh and other hill States from a long time now.

  • Protest against survey for Science City

    Land survey taken up for construction of a Science City in Amadagur and Obuladevaracheruvu mandals in Anantapur district has become controversial. The survey works were recently handed over to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC). Eight teams from the APIIC have taken up land survey in Amadagur mandal. While the Congress leaders are responding favourably to the survey, the Telugu Desam leaders are raising several objections. They staged a rasta roko and dharna in Amadagur two days ago, protesting against land acquisition for the project. There are 42,897 acres in Amadagur mandal with 7,000 survey numbers. There are 9,630.26 acres for 1,520 survey numbers in Tummala village, 1,568.83 acres of land in Yerigivaripalle and a similar extent of land in Pulukuntapalli. Survey is also being taken up in Lokojupalli, Karimireddypalli, Dademvaripalli, Amadagur, Sikirevulapalli, Chinaganipalli, Kassamudram, Mahmadabad, J.K.Palli, Koragattupalli and other villages. Congress leaders say that most farmers are ready to sell their lands while TD leaders deny this.

  • NLC to pay Rs 5 lakh per acre of land acquired

    In a major breakthrough, the district administration has solved a long-pending land acquisition problem plaguing the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation. Collector Rajendra Ratnoo has achieved this feat here today at a daylong marathon tripartite meeting, involving revenue officials, NLC management and people affected by the land acquisition. As per the agreement, the NLC management has come forward to distribute Rs 5 lakh per acre of land as compensation to the affected people. People in the peripheral villages were protesting against the NLC move to acquire land in the region where NLC had been distributing a compensation of Rs 80,000 and above for an acre. They wanted the NLC to hike the compensation as land value had increased significantly. Residents had demanded that the State Government intervene and had staged agitations on sever al occasions. Many rounds of talks between the NLC management, local residents and district administration were conducted but in vain. The president of the Federation of Cuddalore District Farmers Associations V Venkatapathi and secretary Karmangudi S Venkatesan have expressed deep gratitude to the district administration for solving the vexed issue pending for over a decade. Among others DRO Natarajan, 18 representatives from 14 peripheral villages and NLC officials including DGM (Land Acquistion) Palani have participated. TRADE UNION POLL:The stage has been set for a major battle among trade unions in the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) on Feb 28.

  • HMT land sale legal, says State government

    Affidavit says HMT not legally bound to get sanction HMT Limited is legally entitled to deal with its 100 acres of land at Kalamassery in Ernakulam and the assignment of 70 acres of the land to a Mumbai-based company would not be invalid or illegal either for want of consent from the government or for non-utilisation of the land for industrial purpose, according to an affidavit filed by the State government before the Kerala High Court. The affidavit was filed before the court on Tuesday in response to a writ petition seeking a CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] probe into the HMT land deal and to resume the 100 acres in HMT's possession. The affidavit contended that the 70 acres sold by HMT formed part of the 100 acres of land for which permanent exemption had been granted by the government under Section 81(1) (a) of the Kerala Land Reforms Act. As such, HMT was not legally bound to obtain sanction or consent from the State government before selling the land. The allegation that Industries Minister Elamaram Karim had supported the sale of land at a meeting convened on June 6, 2007 was absolutely incorrect, the affidavit said. The meeting was convened to sort out a labour problem which had been pending for long in HMT. Mr. Karim had been trying his best, in his capacity as Minister, to augment the development of industries in the State and to see that infrastructure facilities were provided for entrepreneurs. All actions taken by the Minister in this regard were in compliance with the guidelines prescribed in the industrial and commercial policy of 2007. For creating a very good industrial climate and sending out a message that the situation in the State was very conducive for investment, the Minster had initiated steps for sorting out the labour problem in the company. The affidavit said the 70 acres sold by HMT did not come within the area of land ordered to be surrendered by HMT as per an order of the Kanayannur taluk land board. The affidavit said that HMT had absolute right, title and ownership of the land. HMT was fully competent to transfer the 100 acres or part of it to any person without the permission of the government. Therefore, the sale was perfectly in accordance with the law.

  • Drop any scheme that warrants land acquisition, says CPI

    State secretary of Communist Party of India (CPI) D. Pandian has urged the State government to drop any scheme that involved acquisition of land and demolition of houses. Speaking at a meeting at Sholinganallur on Wednesday, he said that the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) had proposed the demolition of many houses constructed on

  • Sonia hailed for relief to farmers

    Dressed in traditional attire and accompanied by musicians beating drums, a large number of senior Delhi Congress leaders met party president Sonia Gandhi at her 10 Janpath residence here on Wednesday to thank her for enhancing the compensation payable to farmers on acquisition of their land from Rs.25 lakh per acre to Rs.75 lakh per acre. Led by Outer Delhi MP Sajjan Kumar, the delegation also lauded the permission granted to farmers -- through the new Master Plan for Delhi-2021

  • Unions oppose land acquisition

    The unions of public sector units are opposed to entrusting land belonging to AP Steel Factory to private agencies for developing it. The land is located in Paloncha town and several private companies vied for it. It is valued at over Rs 100 crore. The workers union of Sponge Iron India Limited has been demanding that the government allocate the land for the expansion of Sponge Iron India Limited. Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation acquired the land in survey numbers 442, 443, 444 in Paloncha to set up a steel factory when Jalagam Vengala Rao was the chief minister. SIIL Officers Union leader K. Gopi Krishna said that the Central government is making efforts to merge the SIIL with National Mineral Development Corporation. He said additional land would be needed for the expansion of SIIL after merging it with NMDC. "Thousands of jobs would be created with the expansion,' he said. SIIL has sent proposals for setting up another sponge iron unit with a capacity of two lakh tonnes at a cost of Rs 320 crore, a captive power plant with a capacity of 45mw, induction furnace and casting machine to the government for ratification. SIIL was incurring losses till 2002 and has been earning profits for the last four years. Because of the development, NMDC planned to merge it and expand it. The increasing demand for sponge iron is also one of the reasons for the expansion of SIIL. SIIL Supervisors Association president D. Chennamallu said, "The workers wanted to shape Paloncha into a steel town by expanding SIIL.' He said the unions would oppose any gesture of handing over the land to real estate companies. Indian National Trade Union Congress leader Shaik Jaleel said the unions decided to submit a memorandum on the issue to the Chief Minister soon in Hyderabad. "The SIIL would get a boost if the land is given for expansion,' he said.

  • Economic Survey on SEZs

    Acquisition of land for developing special economic zones (SEZs) is a major cause for concern, says the Economic Survey for 2007-08, which was released yesterday by Finance Minister P Chidambaram. The Finance Ministry presents the Economic Survey in Parliament every year, just before the Union Budget. It is the ministry's view on the economic development of the country in the year gone by, and the prospects for the year ahead. The survey has also expressed "apprehension' about the possible "misuse of the (SEZ) scheme and relocation of existing industries into SEZs'. It says the Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Commerce Secretary G K Pillai, which approves SEZ proposals, would not give a go-ahead to SEZs that "have carried out or propose to carry out compulsory acquisition of land

  • UP govt determined to move ahead with Expressway project

    Even as the Opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh, especially the BJP and the Samajwadi Party (SP) continue to rally against Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati's pet project, the Ganga Expressway, the state government remains unmoved in its bid to go ahead with the project. The Opposition's scathing attack on the BSP government for allegedly giving undue benefits to the contractor of the project, JP Industries, at the cost of the farmers, as well as rendering thousands of hectares of fertile land into concrete waste are being seen by the government as a ":absolutely baseless and superfluous':. An official in the industries department said, according to the concept paper prepared by the irrigation department and an estimation of state public works department, embankments to be built along the proposed Ganga Expressway will save around 3.40-lakh hectare land from floods. ":It is expected that this 3.40-lakh hectare of land, which is single crop yielding due to floods at present, will be converted to multi-crop fertile land after the completion of the expressway and embankments. Hence, thousands of farmers will be able to reap benefits of at least double crop,': the official said. The proposed 1,047-km, access-controlled, 8-lane expresway from Ballia to Greater Noida is to be 155 metre wide, including the width of the embankments and service roads. According to the government records, the proposed land-parcels to be given to developer for development, which is around 12,281 hectare, largely includes infertile and barren land.

  • Asom land encroached: Over 7 lakh bighas by sister States, 32 lakh bighas by locals

    Over seven lakh bighas of Asom land have been encroached by four neighouring States

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