Opposition protests against Jharkhand land amendment Act

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Ranchi, July 16 (IANS) : A united Opposition on Monday protested outside Raj Bhawan in the state capital against the Jharkhand Land Amendment Act 2017, which does away with the social impact study and pave the way for quicker land acquisition for certain projects.

Addressing the protesters, leader of Opposition and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren said: “We are fighting for our rights on jal (water), jungle and zamin (land). Our fight will continue inside and outside the Assembly till the act is withdrawn.”

Supporting him, Congress legislator Sukhdeo Bhagat said: “On the one hand, the government claims to acquire land for building schools, and on the other, it has closed 5,000 schools in the state.”

The Jharkhand Assembly had in August 2017 passed the amendment Bill by voice vote. The recast Land Acquisition Act 2013 has put an end to the social impact study, a process before land is acquired for projects such as those of the railways, construction of colleges and irrigation works.

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The President gave his assent to the Act last month. The state government maintains that people-oriented projects are delayed due to social impact studies. After the amendment, the state govt will be able to acquire land directly from the owners, it said.ns/prs/sed

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