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The Tribune India: 'India Among Top Land-grabbing Nations'
New Delhi, December 17
Increasing protests against land grabs is one of India’s most pressing development challenges, said experts from international organisations working on natural resources, ecology and livelihoods.
The Right and Resources Initiative (RRI), a US-based organisation, and the Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), a non-government organisation, have blamed the Indian government agencies and investors for the growing spate of violent clashes in the forest and tribal areas.
Top global experts in an international conference on land and forest rights, said India has joined the ranks of China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia in snatching stretches of prime livelihood resources to grow crops and extract commodities for domestic and global markets.
Providing insight into the findings, the experts said in the coming 15 to 20 years, 61,652.544 sq km of land will be devoted to major developmental and preservation projects, for which the government will acquire 39,687.765 sq km of additional land. Currently, the government has allocated 21,964.779 sq km for such projects.
According to the research conducted by the RRI and the SPWD revealed that the nation can expect rising civil unrest in response to major projects planned for the next 15 years. “Despite having legislations that could address the root cause of the conflicts, all states and all tribal areas in the country are embroiled in these land disputes,” said Arvind Khare, a global expert on land rights.
“The study suggests that Indian investors have been disrespectful of people’s rights as the Chinese,” said Shankar Gopalkrishna, one the researchers from the organisation. “What makes India different is that it calls itself a democracy that guarantees human rights. In becoming part of the global land grab, they are acting against their values,” said Khare.
Global experts said India has joined the ranks of China, South Korea and Saudi Arabia in snatching stretches of prime livelihood resources to grow crops and extract commodities. The experts said in the coming 15 to 20 years, the government will acquire 39,687.765 sq km of additional land for major developmental and preservation projects. A massive transfer of resources from the rural poor to investors is under way, leading to resistance and conflicts in virtually all states of India.
Posted By Madiha Qureshi at 12:12pm on December 21, 2012
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