A conference has found that the colonial Land Acquisition Act 1894, poor compensation for evictees and lack of transparency have burdened Kerala’s development, including road widening. The findings of last year’s ‘Infrastructure Conference’ in Kochi, was released in Thiruvananthapuram on November 8 by the State Water Resources Minister PJ Joseph.
The conference had aimed at a pilot policy approach for PWD modernisation initiatives.
The findings revealed that the most contentious part of LAA 1894 was the ‘eminent domain’ provision, entitling the State to acquire land (often forcibly) by citing public purpose.
The findings recommend a participatory approach and infrastructure development through Public Private People Participation (PPPP). Inadequate compensation and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) package for evictees exposed the harsh reality of acquisition.