Till now it was Mother India, and now it is also Mother Earth. Land, earth, or whatever, is held at a high regard in our country. The land we live on is equated to a goddess and a mother. But hold on, opening our doors to reality gives us an entirely different picture. The corrupt devils haven’t hesitated to rape our nation even in the most pathetic way.
LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS AND CORRUPTION INVOLVED
Land acquisition basically refers to the process of acquiring of land by the government for various infrastructure as well as economic
related developments. In our country, acquiring of land has got some additional definitions, i.e, it involves the hands of political bigwigs, and hence there is lot of black money involved, thereby accelerating our nation in the corruption race. When a land is acquired by the government, it most of the times results in the displacement of a considerable chunk of the particular area’s population. The poor, who have been having their livelihood in an area, their houses, businesses etc. all have now to be shifted to some other place. The question here is, does the government help these displaced people after they have lost their trades? I guess, our government doesn’t even care to look back at them, let alone help! Looking at the cases of Noida extension, or Rober Vadra-DLF deals or Maharashtra’s Lavasa land scams, its clearly visible that politicians and businessmen are looting poor farmers and the country itself, these people are responsible for increasing housing rates and poor condition of farmers, as farmer’s voice is crushed under the power pressure and twisted laws.
LAND ACQUISITION BILL
The land acquisition bill of 2012, which is to be tabled in the winter session, looks like it is going to initiate the abolishment of the issues related to the land acquisition in India. The bill has a provision for consent of two-third of the land owners, and only after the consent, can the government proceed further in acquiring the land. In this bill, the priority is given to the land owners. One more progressive thing about the bill is that no acquisition of land will be made in Schedule Areas, that is, areas where the tribal population is very high.
Still, though the elements of the bill seem to be sensible and meaningful, there is something we shouldn’t forget. There were times when our government had introduced such ‘attractive’ bills, only to either result in further degradation of the system, or the reality turning out to be quite the opposite to what the original bill had promised.
FEW SHOCKING LAND ACQUISITON SCAMS OF INDIA
The Lavasa land acquisition scam of Maharashtra was one scam that shook the state. According to the reports, over 600 hectares of land was purchased by the Lavasa Corporation from the Maharashtra state farmers. As per the government rules, three fourths of the purchase price was to be paid to the state. But, only 2 percent of the price was paid back by the Lavasa Corporation. The rest of the money? We can bet that the money definitely didn’t go for the welfare of the state.
The Aadarsh housing scam is the next on the list. It is the biggest land scam of Mumbai, and one of the biggest multi crore housing scams in India. Way back in 2002, a request to build a housing complex was put forward to the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Unfortunately, over the years, many politicians and bureaucrats have come under the scanner for having violated several housing norms and misusing the houses that were meant for the martyrs’ families and Kargil heroes.
HOW THE PROCESS OF LAND ACQUISITION IS GOVERNED
The process of land acquisition is governed by the LAND ACQUISITION ACT of 1894. It becomes imperative for the government to declare the land that is going to be acquired, notify the people who are interested, and acquire the land only after paying the compensation.
COMPENSATION FOR LAND ACQUISITION
The new land acquisition act which is to be tabled in the winter session requires the government to pay the land value, plus the value of any other property on the land. In addition to this, the government also has to pay the expenses that have to borne by the people for leaving the land and settling in some other place. And if the land that is acquired is an agricultural land intended for industrial use, then the government is required to pay the price of the industrial land.
HOW TO STOP THIS LOOTING?
Lands are one of the biggest sources of money, or rather, black money, for the government. The degradation is not really visible at the top or mid levels, but the poor are the worst hit because of such land scams. And moreover, since it is the economically weaker sections that are getting hit, the enormity of the scams is not clearly visible to the everyday public. All we think is that it is just like any other scam, but we don’t see the lives of the poor getting rotten and ruptured.
A clean government, in the first place, is very much required. This is because it is the government that is purchasing the lands, and if the government is clean and efficient, then the law breakers and corrupt rogues can be whitewashed from the society. Strict laws should be introduced, which allows heavy penalties to be levied on those middlemen who eat the money that is meant for the poor who live on the going-to-be-acquired lands.
Only then can the lands of the country can be both clean and corruption free.