Special Correspondent

Says, Government should acquire only dry lands for setting up industries

  • Displaced persons should be trained for jobs in the industry
  • Narayan calls for regularisation of houses in layouts

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Lok Satta national convener N. Jayaprakash Narayan opines that the controversy on acquisition of lands for Special Economic Zones (SEZs) can be easily resolved if the displaced are compensated by both land and cash.

    Talking to media persons here on Friday, he said that instead of acquiring one acre, the government should acquire two, pay compensation in monetary terms for one and develop the other acre of land and hand it over to the farmer.

    "If this is done, there will not be any resistance from the farmers. Instead they'll vie with each other to give land to the industry as the developed land value appreciates manifold within a short period. That way both the industry and the agriculture can flourish," he pointed out.

    He said he would shortly write letters to the Prime Minister and also the UPA president on this as the Government was needlessly creating a rift between industry and the farmer.

    The Government should also leave the land fit for cultivation to the farmer and acquire only dry lands for setting up industries. Instead it was giving away large tracts of land to the rich who converted it into real estate while the poor farmers were unable to buy alternate land with the compensation amount as the land prices soared, he stated.

    Stock movements

    There was also no point in offering equity to the displaced persons in the industry as the stock movements were beyond their comprehension. Instead, they should be trained for jobs in the industry.

    On the plight of the middle classes in urban areas where even the lifetime savings of a salaried employee were also failed to fetch him land for construction of a house, Mr. Narayan called for regularisation of houses in layouts and also on endowment lands like in the case of Simhachalam lands in Visakhapatnam.

    The third aspect on his agenda was reforms in administration. He felt that the police machinery which was controlled by the political government was unable to provide equal justice and therefore wanted the Crime Investigation Department to be separated from the Police Department and a judge of the High Court appointed as its head with a couple of experts as members on it. "It should be an independent authority to provide justice. This is needed for the survival of democracy in the country," he felt.

    Other areas where Lok Satta focused were education, health, training the educated unemployed to develop the necessary skills for jobs, and uninterrupted power supply which could be achieved by judicious use of power.

    Organisational polls

    Mr. Narayan also announced that the organisational elections of Lok Satta would be conducted through secret ballot.

    The aspirants for contesting elections would have to be chosen by the people first through preliminary poll and only those who are acceptable to the public would be fielded in the elections, he stated. Lok Satta would contest the Hyderabad and Tirupati Corporation elections and the general elections in 2009, he said.

    Replying to questions, he said that Lok Satta never opposed smaller states.

    "But let them first spend the budgetary allocations for the district through the district-level administration," he said.