In all these matters the government and the administration have continuously ignored the social and environmental costs of industrial and urban development and used the Land Acquisition Act 1894 and various other draconian laws to crush dissent. The judiciary too by criticising the NBA on wrong grounds has shown scant respect for justice and favoured the government and shown support to industrial development sacrificing the rights of the people who are being displaced. The reason is that giving the displaced people the true value of their land or alternatively resettling them pushes up the cost of the project so much that it becomes either economically unviable or reduces drastically the profit margins because of the interest on the increased capital cost.
Matters have come to a head, however, as it is no longer possible to steam roll protest in a democracy in which the electorate has begun voting in large numbers and throwing out visibly corrupt and repressive governments wherever there is an alternative available. Thus, the Maharashtra government had to agree to the demands of the slum dwellers who were being helped in their battle by the National Alliance of People's Movements and Medha Patkar. The Orissa government has had to recall the massive police force it had deployed to clear the two villages for the POSCO project faced with resistance from children, women and men. The Uttar Pradesh Government has had to come out with a new Land Policy which gives the farmers a better deal. This shows that determined resistance can push the government back. In this context an alternative rehabilitation bill has been drafted by a group of social activists that provides for the Gram Sabha or Mohalla Sabha to be given all the project details and only if they feel the project is necessary should it go through with proper rehabilitation and resettlement. This bill can be accessed here.