Land Acquisition Act draconian: Banerjee

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 as "draconian" while the Singur Bill would show the way for the entire country.

Participating in the debate in the Assembly over the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011, she said the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, has been a cause of suffering to a large number of countrymen as it was "draconian".

Banerjee said she had conveyed her reservations about the Act to the Centre which was amending it.

Banerjee said the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Bill, 2011, would show the way to the people not only in West Bengal but the entire country.

She said her government was formulating a land policy and had formed an expert committee.

Stating that her government would not acquire land forcibly, Banerjee said whatever land might be required for projects in public interest would be taken on the basis of financial packages for land-losers and by involving the gram sabhas and the panchayats.

Banerjee said her government was also in the process of preparing a package for agricultural labourers affected by acquisition of agricultural land.