Of land use & acquisition....

The government could soon undertake extensive changes in its land use and acquisition policies as the PMO puts pressure on the agriculture ministry to implement the recommendations of an eight-year old report that was prepared by a working group chaired by the then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.
The report had proposed that industries and developers could make use of productive agricultural land for industrialisation and urbanisation by ensuring that they convert an equal amount of degraded or waste land elsewhere into fertile farm land.
The recommendation could make the process of land acquisition easier for the industry: “A provision exists under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, for compensatory afforestation by the user agencies in lieu of forest lands diverted for development projects. Similar practice may be adopted in case of diversion of agriculture land for urbanisation, industrialisation or other developmental activities.“
The PMO asked the agriculture ministry to dust this report down and get it operational with an action taken report by Monday .Modi had chaired a working group on agriculture set up by the National Development Council on August 25, 2005. And by December, 2006, he had submitted a report on “dry land rainfed farming  system including regeneration of degradedwaste land and watershed development programme.“
At a meeting held by the agriculture secretary on November 11 action taken notes on each of these 108 recommendations were discussed and since response to most of the queries seemed inadequate, each department or division was asked to send in more detailed reports.
If the recommendations are implemented, all licenses, permits and restrictions on felling, transportation and sale of wood produced by farmers and private organisations from areas notified as wasteland could be a thing of the past. There is also suggestion to make rainwater harvesting mandatory in all government and private buildings across the country getting the building by-laws amended.

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