Govt not using Ordinance amended law to acquire land

The Narendra Modi government showed unusual haste in amending the land acquisition bill last December by opting for the Ordinance route, but since then no Central ministry has acquired land for “public purpose” using the amendments, a study has showed.

Four Central ministries — Road Transport and Highways, Railways, Coal and Petroleum and Natural Gas — acquired land for “public purpose” projects on 219 instances between January 1 and June 30 this year, after the amendments came into force.

However, on each occasion, the ministries used sector-specific laws and not the amended Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, said a study by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. In the first six months, the Modi government had to re-promulgate the Ordinance twice as it failed to get Parliament to approve the amendments.

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