New law to rehabilitate SEZ
PTI[ SUNDAY, JULY 08, 2007 02:25:48 PM]
NEW DELHI: The new rehabilitation law may make it binding on promoters
to develop infrastructure such as roads in the 20-kilometre periphery of
a special economic zone, besides providing facilities like health,
education and housing to the people displaced by the project.
"The responsibility of the people acquiring land will not be limited
within the SEZ in which they operate. They will be responsible to share
the development responsibility along with the state government within a
periphery of 20 km of an SEZ," a high-level government official said.
The National Rehabilitation Policy, which will be converted into a law,
could also require SEZ developers to share a larger responsibility along
with the state government.
The draft of the Rehabilitation Bill, being prepared by the Rural
Development Ministry, provides for strong punitive action against those
failing to fulfil the responsibility towards those displaced and the
inhabitants in nearby areas.
As per the proposed law, state governments would be asked to set up an
oversight mechanism to ensure that SEZ developers meet their obligations.
Further, unlike the present arrangement, "quite a large part of the
compensation will have to be paid well before the displacement itself",
the official said.
The Rural Development Ministry is also proposing 'Land for Land Policy'
where alternate land should be provided. In case of larger displacement,
developers would be asked to set up a separate colony for the affected
people with facilities like education, health and housing.
The government has so far approved more than 500 SEZs, including formal
and in-principle, but has been facing stiff opposition on the matter,
particularly after violent protests at Nandigram in West Bengal and