No info available on land ordinance: Govt

No info available on land ordinance: Govt

There is no information available on promulgation of land ordinance by President Pranab Mukherjee, the government has said.

"There is no such information," the Department of Land Resources said in reply to an RTI query.

Venkatesh Nayak, who works with NGO Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), has sought information including photocopies of all materials on the basis of which the President was satisfied that circumstances existed for him to take immediate action by promulgating the land ordinance.

Nayak has also sought copies of file notings in this regard from President's secretariat.
The RTI application was forwarded to the Department of Land Resources for providing the information "pertains to or more closely related to the functions of your office".

"It is strange that government has no information to furnish on such a controversial issue. It is against the spirit of transparency claimed by the government," Nayak said.

The President had on December 31 last, given assent to the ordinance on Land Acquisition Act envisaging procuring land for industrial corridors, rural infrastructure, defence and housing.

The ordinance was cleared by Union Cabinet on December 29The ordinance has made significant changes in the Land Acquisition Act including removal of consent clause for acquiring land for five areas-- industrial corridors, Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects, rural infrastructure, affordable housing and defence.

The Opposition has been slamming the government for taking the ordinance route. An amended Land Acquisition Bill in this regard is being debated in the Parliament.

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