State planning to make ryots stake-holders

Present compensation system may make way for new proposal

The Urban Development Policy of the State Government will be presented before the Cabinet only in February as civil society organisations demanded wider discussion on the draft policy, he said.

Addressing the media after a discussion with civil society organisations on the draft Urban Development Policy, Suresh Kumar said: “We are contemplating a model where farmers will have a stake in 40 percent of the land that has been acquired from them. They can either be stakeholders or choose to disassociate with the land completely.”

Kumar added that the date of the final presentation would be extended from January 15 to the second week of February to enable wider discussion and also to increase the scope of incorporating suggestions.

The Minister announced the extension of time after representatives of civil society organisations and experts unanimously demanded further discussions on the policy.
The draft policy, primarily aimed at the development of Tier 1 and 2 cities drew criticism from participants on issues such as land acquisition, role of urban local bodies (ULB), sustainability and social justice.

“There is no mention of restructuring the finances of urban local bodies, or the accountability of functionaries. This policy should not be a model of the JNNURM but be a new model,” Kathyayini Chamaraj of NGO, CIVIC said.

Other participants too wanted the policy to be delinked from the JNNURM model and suggested that there be a wider debate in the presence of all the stakeholders of the policy before it is finalised.

Chairman of the Policy drafting commitee Dr A Ravindra defended the draft.
“There is a wrong impression that the policy is in favour of the World Bank and privatisation, but it has been framed simply because it is good for us,” he said.
He added that for the first time there was an effort to incorporate suggestions from experts and NGOs.

Suresh Kumar and Ravindra assured those present at the meeting that similar discussions will take place in cities such as Hubli-Dharwad, Gulbarga and Mangalore before the policy is finalised.

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