New Delhi: Terming the land acquisition
law as "draconian", Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, a
staunch opponent of the proposed amendments to the measure,
on Wednesday said that she is against "forcible" acquiring of land.
"I am against forcible land acquisition. Land
acquisition law is a draconian law as it is not only me but
everybody has said so," Banerjee said at an economic editors`
"We are using our land bank for various railway
projects including the dedicated freight corridor (DFC) and
there is no need for forcible land acquisition," she said.
Railways have created a land bank of 1.33 lakh acres
to be used for various rail projects.
"Even if we acquire any land, it will be acquired with
the consent of the land owner with adequate compensation
including a job offer," she said.
Just two days ago, Banerjee skipped a meeting convened
by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to sort out differences
on the Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill, 2007.
The meeting was aimed at hammering a way out for the
passage of the Bill which the Railway Minister believes would
run counter to the stand she took over Nandigram and Singur
issues in West Bengal.
Banerjee said Railways had suffered losses to the tune
of Rs 1500 crore due to poor law and order situation and
bandhs. "It is becoming a soft target for all these bandhs.
Our night operations are still suspended in some areas due to
the law and order problem.
"Every other day there is a bandh by these extremists.
Train operation has been suspended in Kashmir due to the law
and order problem. We have lost more than Rs 1500 crore to
these bandhs in these years," the Minister said.