Saturday, December 01, 2007

Medha Patkar condemns ULCA

With the repeal of ULCA 3000 + acres will be freed in Mumbai and more in Pune. There shouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that this was done to fill the coffers of the builders. The builder politician nexus is well known anyway and the builders will compensate the politicians. Why should be poor benefit anyway ?? What are they doing for the politicians ? Its never been any government's priority to create housing for the poor. Why should the case be different this time.

Condemning the state government's decision to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling (Regulation) Act (ULCRA), Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar said the move was meant only to authorise large land holdings of individuals, which, till now, were held by them illegally.

Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Patkar expressed the view that the repeal will lead to unequal distribution of land, increase in the number of homeless, and most importantly, it will increase the gap between the rich and the poor. She charged that in Mumbai alone, about 30,000 hectares of land will go in the hands of big companies and builders. According to her, Pune too will not remain unaffected.

"Moreover, we are of a strong belief that the state government's assurance of providing free housing to the homeless will also not come through," Patkar said.

The ULCRA was repealed on Thursday by the state government, which restricted individual land holding to 500 square metre.

"The government had the power to acquire and develop vacant plots for common good under ULCRA, but it failed to do so. It is utterly farcical to assure that the poor will benefit. The Act has been repealed only for the benefit of the builder lobby, who will have a free hand now," Patkar said.

Patkar added that the National Alliance of People's Movement was left with no option but to stage agitation and protests against `land grabbing'.

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