Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Land acquisition

The protests by farmers against land acquisition in UP and support to them by politicians belonging to Congress, BJP, SP and RLD have raised questions about land acquisition. The central government has announced introduction of a bill in the monsoon session. Politicians oppose land acquisitions in states where they are not in power and justify land acquisitions in states where they are in power.

Protests take place all over India against land acquisition. Sometimes the protesters resort to violence and blockade. Transport is disrupted. People face hardships.

Land for some people is more than livelihood. It is about lifestyle, emotions, identity and history. Some don’t want to sell ancestral land.

Government should not acquire land for private companies. Industrialists should acquire the land where they want from the people by paying the amount people want. They should buy the land after making sure that all are ready to sell. Government should not step in even if one person is unwilling to sell his land.

Government should not acquire land for public private partnerships (P3). Many times P3 means public money going to private pockets.

Public purpose should mean roads, railways, airports and ports. It should not mean factories, refineries, nuclear power plants, theatres, malls, SEZs and stadia. India has enough cantonments and there is no need for more cantonments. Industrialisation is not the job of the state and should be left to private sector.

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