How Telangana subverted India’s land acquisition law

Dear reader,

The Land Acquisition Act of 2013 was a landmark legislation. It was widely hailed for attempting to bring transparency and fairness to the process of acquisition, which had for more than a century been carried out with little consideration for the rights of those whose land was being taken.

But nearly a decade later, there is little to suggest that the act has been effective in achieving these aims. This is abundantly clear from the story of Hyderabad Pharma City, a 20,000-acre project coming up just 60 km from Hyderabad, in Ranga Reddy district. 

Since the project's launch in 2014, the Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation has used a variety of questionable means to wrest land from farmers in the region, including passing dubious government orders and eventually amending the Central legislation itself. 

In Common Ground this week, Faustina Johnson travelled through Ranga Reddy to meet those who have lost property to the pharma city, as well as those who have been fighting back, refusing to be bullied and manipulated out of their lands and livelihoods. Their accounts serve as a grim reminder that the 2013 law has failed to protect the vulnerable farmers and workers that it aimed to shield from the might and greed of corporations and the government. 

You can read the story here.
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Ajay Krishnan
Senior Editor


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