L'oeil public

Now Delhi – #1 Land

Land acquisition in India for industrial or urban development projects has been a burning issue since the economic opening in 1991. Many protests happened as most of the time land owners think they are being ripped off. Finally an amendment to the existing law, Land Acquisition Act of 1894 acted during the British rule, saw the light: the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. This is supposed to regulate in a fairer manner these numerous land grabs.
But in the village of Bisrakh, the story is slightly different. Lands belonging to farmers were acquired as anywhere else in the country, though an action in justice changed the course that awaits most of Indian small land owners.
The people of Bisrakh village, about 6,000 in all, are mostly farmers. In 2008, the Greater Noida Authority forcibly acquired most of their lands, explaining they would further industrial development. They subsequently modified the Land Use Act and sold them to private developers. The farmers, who became angry when they learned of the profits made off their lands, ultimately filed a complaint with the Allahabad Court. They won the trial and received a fair financial compensation. Some became very wealthy overnight, building themselves huge houses and acquiring big cars. But farming the lands is now impossible, and most of the villagers were dependent on farming, so the younger generations are mostly reduced to working as laborers or are unemployed.

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