Farmers must get fair price for land, says Sonia
The debate in the Congress and the UPA government over land acquisition acquired a new edge with party President Sonia Gandhi favouring a balanced approach in securing land for industrial purposes without losing large fertile tracts.delhi Updated: Sep 09, 2010 12:57 IST
The debate in the Congress and the UPA government over land acquisition acquired a new edge with party President Sonia Gandhi favouring a balanced approach in securing land for industrial purposes without losing large fertile tracts.
"New industries and infrastructure cannot be built witout acquiring land. This is obvious and there is no no argument about it. "But land acquistion must be done in a manner that it does not result into the loss of large tracts of fertile and productive agriculutre land," she said at a public function here.
Gandhi was speaking after dedicating to the nationa Stage II of the National Thermal Power Project (NTPC) in Dadri in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
The Stage II project of 2x490 MW power plant will supply power to the Commonwealth Games. Her comments acquire significance in the context of the current debate over land acquisition, an issue on which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and got an assurance that the government would bring a new legislation on acquiring farmers' land.
"Farmers must be provided adequate compensation and an alternative occupation" where their lands are acquired, Sonia Gandhi said. She said that some states like Haryana have progressive legislations in this regard and other states should emulate it.
Touching on the issue of environment, Gandhi said while "we definitely need to generate more power"" for our farmers's needs, factories and industries, "at the same time we must protect environment to ensure a sustainable development." "In whatever we do, we must not foget that our lush forest , mountains are necessary... we have a responsibility to protect them," she said adding that there is a need to "sustain and nurture" the river and clean air.