'90 percent displacement due to state projects'

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Over 90 percent of displacements in India is due to land acquisition for state projects, and the low compensation for the uprooting adds insult to injury, experts at a panel discussion here said Saturday.

The panel, which shared the title of a book, "The Price of Land Acquisition, Conflict, Consequence", discussed key issues related to land and its acquisition Friday evening.

The book after which the discussion was named was authored by professor Sanjoy Chakravorty of Temple University, US.

"It is ironical that agriculture land prices in India are the highest, and has nothing to offer in productivity. The difference in land rates between India and the US is enormous," said Chakravorty.

He pointed out that though the price of one acre land in Mumbai's plush southern part corresponds to New York's costliest area, at Rs.250 crore, an average place in Mumbai will cost somewhere around Rs.10 crore, while an area of the same status in the US would cost Rs.0.5 crore.

The panel also lamented that the price of land has seen a five-fold increase in the past one decade.

Those in discussion were Harish Damodran, opinion editor, The Hindu Business Line, Shusbhashis Gangopadhyay, director, School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Shiv Nadar University, and R.V. Verma, chairman and managing director, National Housing Bank.

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