Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lok Satta demands review of land Acquisition policy

The Lok Satta Party today demanded that the Government ban acquisition of double crop land for establishment of thermal power plants, special economic zones, and industries, a thorough review of the Land Acquisition Act and appointment of a quasi judicial authority to decide on the land needed for various industries.

Briefing the media on the decisions taken by the party’s State Working Committee during its two-day deliberations, Mr. Bhisetty Babji, V. Laxman Balaji. G. Raja Reddy and Narra Sridhar wanted the Government to abandon its bid to promote a thermal power plant at Sompeta and immediately return to farmers the lands already acquired from them.

The Lok Satta recognized the need for establishing industries and power plants for economic development. However, the decisions should not be taken unilaterally and imposed on people. Industries that harm the environment and people’s health should be established only after remedial measures are in place. The monetary compensation paid to farmers should exceed the market value of the property acquired. In addition, the displaced farmers should be given shares in the industry and a member of their families be trained and given a job. Compensation should be extended not merely to those who part with their land but also to others who depend on land for their livelihood in the form of housing and alternative livelihood opportunities.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, President and Mr. DVVS Varma, Working President, presided over the meetings.

In a resolution, the party demanded that municipal elections be held on schedule since their postponement under some pretext or the other is unconstitutional. The party sought direct election to the posts of chairman and mayor and resolution of people’s problems through elected ward committees. The party will organize demonstrations at all municipal offices on August 25 to reiterate its demand.

The party criticized the Government for its failure to ensure availability of fertilizers to farmers even after the onset of sowing. It wanted the Government to strengthen the bunds of the Krishna and its tributaries on a war-footing since floods of the October 2009 magnitude would result in heavy loss of life and property. It decided to continue its agitation against Government’s excise policy which is ruining people’s lives by promoting liquor consumption.

The Working Committee session was underway even at 5 p.m.

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