Lakshadweep, a cluster of 36 Islands, a haven for wildlife with 97% of forest land and abode to primarily tribal population, is drawing widespread attention after the draft Lakshadweep Development Authority Regulation, 2021(hereinafter referred to As LDAR 2021) was notified by the Territory’s Administration.
The draft LDAR, 2021 seeks to bring drastic changes in ownership and usage of land and bestows unfettered powers to the government in matters of land acquisition. The government can arbitrarily claim land from the owners for public purpose.
In the proposed draft, the term ‘development’, which included the activities of “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 sub-division of any land” is considered a direct threat to the island’s rich biodiversity by ecologists. This so-called development under draft would come at the cost of inhabitants and wildlife.
The regulations would also affect the fishing communities by barring them from access to coastlines.
The provisions also state that any proposed development plan cannot be challenged in any court of law under any circumstances.
Meanwhile, the draft LDAR, 2021 is open for comments and suggestions till May, 31.