Forest and common land acquisition

Land grabbing has today become a major issue across India and a central political faultline in Indian politics. Protests, resistance and conflicts have been growing as a result of attempts by people to assert their legal and customary rights in the face of state and corporate attempts to take over land. Much of this has been framed as a struggle against land acquisition, but the issues involved go beyond acquisition of private land for particular projects. Therefore, there is a need to develop a frame of understanding that sees land takeovers as a systematic process embedded in India’s current sociopolitical environment. The study is divided into two basic components: The first deals with the estimation of the extent of land required in the next fifteen years. This is estimated at 11.5 million hectares. This figure is a conservative estimate as it does not take into account “collateral damage” to adjacent lands. The seven case studies covering six states namely Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa provide insights into the nature of issues involved in selected sectors. The sectoral and spatial coverage provides insight into the state-level policies and practices on one hand and specific impacts on the land and life-support systems on the other.

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