India confronts land grabs in industry push
Posted: Thursday, Sep 16, 2010 at 0222 hrs IST
Updated: Thursday, Sep 16, 2010 at 0222 hrs IST
Source: The Financial Express
As India rapidly industrialises, the government and private firms are seeking large tracts of farm land to build factories, power plants and highways, sparking off violent protests by farmers and others. Here are some questions and answers on the issue:
WHY IS LAND A BIG ISSUE?
* For many Indians, land is the only asset or social security that they possess and is a mark of social standing. Nearly 60% of India’s 1.2 billion citizens depend on farming for a living and each hectare of farmland supports five people.
* Most projects require huge amounts of land. A proposed steel mill by South Korea’s Posco in Orissa will be built on 1,600 hectares. A six-lane highway between Agra and New Delhi will require 43,000 hectares.
* Compensation ranges from between $4,300 a hectare, in the case of top steelmaker ArcelorMittal’s proposed plant of over 4,400 hectares in Jharkhand, to $14,600 per hectare, offered to farmers displaced by Posco’s Orissa mill.
* Despite the seemingly attractive prices, farmers have few other livelihood options and land taken over for industrialisation has been blamed for displacing hundreds of thousands of people.
* Protests against land being taken over have become more visible as the economy expands and the rich-poor gap widens.
Posted on September 16, 2010, in Access to Land Issues, Land Grabbing and tagged access to land in India, Land grab, Land rights, Land rights movement in India. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.