This paper provides a coherent policy response to the tough social questions raised by compulsory land acquisition in India. With conflicts escalating and governments failing to enact a law protecting the livelihoods of affected people, the proposed Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2011 is a major step forward. This paper identifies some of the loopholes in the Bill which need to be addressed in order to respond adequately to the sensitive nature of India’s land situation. The Bill as it stands can make conflict more intractable by covering unchanged practices in a new law.
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