What is Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation (LDAR) 2021 and why are people against it?
LDAR 2021: Why in the News?
Residents of Lakshadweep have been protesting against some new regulations that have been introduced by their new administrator Praful Khoda Patel. The citizens are even saying that the administrator is not working for the island.
The new rules allow the liquor to be sold on the island, bans beef and plans to disenfranchise the islanders of various counts. Know more about them below.
What is LDAR 2021 and its provisions?
- The Draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021 or LDAR 2021 was notified on the official website of the administration.
- Its proposal is to change the existing land ownership on the island.
- It also aims to modify the usage in Lakshadweep by providing sweeping, arbitrary, unchecked powers to the government. This in turn is directly interfering with the island’s resident’s right to possess and retain their property.
- The Regulation also gives the powers to the Government to choose any land for “development” activities that have been provided under its regulation.
- Once the land is picked, it could be used as per the government sees fit. This means the owner would have no control over the land whatsoever because the land would be provided for a "public purpose".
- This draft report also raises concerns as development would mean the activities including "building, engineering, mining, quarrying or other operations in, on, over or under, land, the cutting of a hill or any portion or the making of any material change in any building or land, or in the use of any building or land, and includes sub-division of any land."
- As per the regulation the development plan would not, (either before or after being approved), be questioned by anyone, be it in any legal proceedings too.
- A controversy that surrounds the regulation is the ban on contesting elections of the Panchayat in case anyone has more than 2 children. This ban has been put forward in the Draft Lakshadweep Panchayat Regulation, 2021.
- It reads, "No person shall be a member of a Gram Panchayat or continue as such who... has more than two children."
Why is LDAR 2021 being opposed?
- As per the citizens the following are the reasons for the discontent of the citizens/ residents:
- The 10 inhabited islands were under a two month lockdown.
- The Lakshadweep administration is accused of exploitation of the public's inability at this time to mobilise arbitrary legislation.
- Locals also say that these regulations are out of sync with the socio-political and environmental requirements.
- Many islanders also suspect that LDAR might have been issued for seeking real estate interests to usurp small holdings of property owned by islanders.
- The islanders also fear that the LDAR may provide for forcible eviction. It puts the onus on the owner ro develop the holding as per plan by the authority.
- The Regulation also provides for unchecked power to the Government and it's bodies interfering with the rights of the islanders to retain their property.
Beef Ban and Goonda Act:
The people of Lakshadweep have also opposed the administrator of trying to interfere in the traditional life by introducing a ban on buying or selling beef products.
The Goonda Act being introduced in the island that has negligible crime rate and revoking of restrictions on alcohol for benefit of tourism also have attracted criticism from the islanders.
Some things that were equally non satisfactory were that the island descended from being COVID 19 free region to developing more than 6800 cases in a year.Also the mandatory quarantine if the island bound travellers was done away with in the leadership of Praful Khoda Patel.