Land acquisition bill draft in public domain soon: Ramesh

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  1. nrj

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    New Delhi: The much-awaited land acquisition bill will be compliant with the exiting legislations on panchayats and forest rights and its draft will be placed in public domain in the next two-three days, rural development minister Jairam Ramesh said on Tuesday.

    The minister told media persons that there will be one draft of the bill which will include aspect of relief and rehabilitation though there could be different yardsticks of compensation for urban and rural areas. The bill will comply with the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act and the Forest Rights Act, he said.

    He said there will be need for land for industralisation, infrastructure and urbanisation in the coming next ten to twenty years and the bill has been prepared keeping in mind these requirements. But ensuring food security was essential and multi-crop, irrigated land should not be acquired easily, Ramesh added.

    The minister said that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi had made big contribution towards the bill. He said that the bill will not only keep in mind interests of farmers but also those whose livelihood was dependent on land.

    Ramesh said that farmers should also get some benefit of appreciation in price of their sold land. The minister, who toured some Maoist-affected areas of Chhattisgarh last week, said there was need for more flexibility in implementation of rural development plans in these areas.

    "Giving a new dimension to rural development in Naxal (Maoist)-affected areas is my priority," he said. He said there were demands about relaxing the norms relating to road construction and increasing administrative expenditure of some schemes.

    He said that people affected by Maoist violence should be included in Indira Awas Yojana (IAY). Ramesh also said there was paucity of government staff in Maoist-affected areas and recruitments should be done locally.

    Noting that since many of the Maoist affected districts were on borders of states, there should be joint effort from concerned states at improving infrastructure.

    The minister, who was on a visit to Rajasthan on Monday, said biggest problem in western areas of the state was drinking water. He said he will soon visit Maoist-affected areas in Orissa and Jharkhand.

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