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Workshop on rehabilitation, resettlement

By Our Special Correspondent

HUBLI, MAY 6. A national workshop on "Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Natural Resources and related issues" is being organised at Ranebennur in Haveri district on May 22 and May 23.

It is being organised by non-government organisations, including the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR), Gram Ganarajya Vedike (GGV), Federation of Voluntary Organisation for Rural Development Karnataka (FEVORD-K), and Jan Vikas Andolan.

According to S.R. Hiremath of the Jan Vikas Andolan, the workshop will work out strategies on the future of "Azadi se Swaraj" campaign launched by the NGOs. In the first two phases of the campaign, the effort was on preparation of an alternative Bill to the "Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R and R) Bill 2000" and putting pressure on the Government though the NHRC to accept the stand that the displaced persons must have a legal right to satisfactory rehabilitation prior to the commencement of the actual land acquisition and for urging the Government to prepare a new Bill called "Project Displaced Persons Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill 2002."

However, according to Mr. Hiremath, the Union Government had been reluctant to share the contents of the Bill with the NHRC or bringing it before Parliament. Letters written to the Government in this connection, seeking the details, had not evoked any response, he said. Mr. Hiremath said the workshop would discuss the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy brought out by the Union Government.

Ravi Chopra of the People's Science Institute, Dehra Dun, would deliver the keynote address, Mr. Hiremath added.

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