NAPM national leaders include Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao Andolan , Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Prafulla Samantara of Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Gautam Bandopadhyay of Nadi Ghati Morcha of Ulka Mahajan, Suniti SR, Prasad Bagwe of SEZ Virodhi Manch lamented that UPA is hiding behind the poor and this brazen push for the land acquisition for the private companies will threaten food security and livelihood of millions.
Lok Sabha passed the 'National Food Security Bill' early this week but the new land bill will divert more agricultural land. They recalled that for decades people's movements have been struggling against the forced land acquisition, without any recourse to satisfactory R&R.
Stating that today, in an atmosphere, where everything from roads, hospital to tourism, mining, electricity developed by public or private corporations, is considered as public good, they felt the Bill will continue to betray the faith of people in development process. Since 1947, millions of hectares of land have been acquired in the name of development, displacing nearly 100 million people and leaving them to fend for themselves.
They lamented that the attempt to repeal the 1894 Act was initiated in the context of the killings and land conflict in Nandigram and Singur, but today the whole debate is centred only around the growth and industrialisation. Political and elite class of this country is driving this hype at the cost of alienating large section of population, who will only have the option to resist and challenge forced acquisition of their land and natural resources by corporations in name of development and growth.
They welcomed some provisions like Social Impact Assessment, Concurrent Environmental impact Assessment, but are concerned that historical justice has not been done. NAPM reminded that the nation expects Parliament to tend for majority of the people, for whom this development is planned and not worry about industrial houses alone.