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Repeal Land Acquisition Act for it is antiquated: farmers

28 January 2009

Special Correspondent
The Hindu

"Indiscriminate land acquisition has only promoted real estate business"

CUDDALORE: The Tamil Nadu Uzhavar Periyakkam, founded by PMK leader S.Ramadoss, has urged the government to repeal the antiquated Land Acquisition Act 1894 since it is detrimental to the interests of the farmers.

The Periyakkam that organised a consultative meeting with the representatives of various farmers' associations here recently passed a resolution in this regard.

The indiscriminate acquisition of land had only promoted real estate business rather than industries, whereas, the land providers were reduced to penury.

Therefore, it called upon the government to bring out a white paper on the status of those who had given lands for various projects.

It said that the government should not act as a middleman in acquiring lands for private industries.

Demand to offer market price

If the government ought to acquire land for important projects it should offer market price and also provide jobs to the land providers and extend all benefits offered by the departments concerned.

The private companies should share profits with the land providers, besides giving them suitable jobs.

Therefore, to make provision for such benefits the Land Acquisition Act should be jettisoned and a new legislation should be passed in its place.

In another resolution the Periyakkam noted that the educational institutions and other companies had acquired hundreds of acres of land, denying access to the farmers to common water sources and pathways. Hence, it called for suitable remedial measures.

In yet another resolution, the Periyakkam voiced concern over the excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides that had ruined the soil and also caused health problems to the consumers.

Separate farm varsity

Therefore, a separate agricultural university should be set up either in Cuddalore or Villupuram district to promote the safe and natural agricultural practices.

Prizes should be instituted for the farmers adopting natural farm practices for raising crops and the System of Rice Intensification.

It called upon the government to fix the procurement price of Rs 1,250 for a quintal of paddy, Rs 2,000 for a tonne of sugarcane, Rs 25 for a litre of milk, Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 for a bag (80 kg) of groundnut and cashew.

It urged the government to give the flood relief of Rs 7,500 a hectare (fixed for paddy famrers) for those raising groundnut, banana, cotton, brinjal, chillies, flowers and jowar.

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