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Mastering Case 3- District collector faced with a controversial Land Acquisition case
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What will you do as a district collector in a controversial land acquisition project? Check out here

Athul Vijayakumar
Appeared for Mains exam in 2013,2014,2015&2016. Teaching Polity, Ethics, current affairs, Governance and Environment for past 2 years

Unacademy user
Sir beat forest nte oru question undarunnu a=1/3 b= 1/5 then the value of a+b/ab ithu engana onnu paranju tharuo
8 months ago
8 aano answer?

  2. About me Athul Vijayakumar Btech in Marine engineering (CUSAT) : Written mains 2013,14,15 &16 Topped Philosophy optional Consistently scored above '125 for GS 1 prelims GS faculty - Ethics, Polity, current affairs, governance and social justice UNACADEMY courses PRELIMS ROUND UP- DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS please RATE, REVIEW AND SHARE

  3. Question .You are recently posted to a district as its DM and it include the Chief minister's electoral constituency. .Your first job in office is to complete a land acquisition project for a national highway. The project which was an electoral promise of the CM if completed, will reduce the travel time from district to the state's commercial capital by almost half. .As the 3km stretch of the present alignment pass through a paddy land, it has spawned protests among the local farming community with support from the local environmental conservationists. The protesters are demanding for an alternate alignment that pass through private lands which are not under any productive use. Detailed investigation into the matter convinced you that, this alternate alignment was the first one proposed by the agency tasked with the purpose, but it was shelved as it involved acquiring land from some of the wealthy business men of the area and will require demolition of the party office of the ruling party. Your colleagues warned you against pursuing the alternate alignment as they believed it was the reason for the untimely transfer of the previous collector. . As a collector what will be your course of action? . (250 words 20 marks)

  4. Structure Identify the crux of the issue Identify the stakeholders Introduce the ethical dilemmas .Explain the options available and the Intro course of action Body Evaluate the pros and cons of the proposed course .Way forward Conclusion

  5. Introduction Crux of the issue: When developmental needs conflict with environmental concerns, it has to be resolved in a manner upholding public interest together with an attempt to achieve the goals of equity, inclusivity and sustainable development . Stakeholders: Myself - the DM The people of the district as a whole Paddy farmers who do not want the national highway to come up through their farms Environmentalists supporting the paddy farmers Wealthy businessmen Politicians of the ruling party including the CM

  6. Body Ethical dilemmas involved: Environmental concerns vs. boosting local economy: The present alignment can boost the local economy through quicker access to the capital - however it would not be environmentally sustainable Private vs. professional ethics - If one questions why the alternative alignment was not taken, professional life might be adversely affected. If one doesn't question, equity concern of the society will not be addressed Objectivity vs. upsetting political executive: One could go ahead with objective bureaucratic decision making - however, it might upset relations with the political executive

  7. Body Ethical dilemmas involved: Ends vs.means - Following a consequentialist approach, ie, focusing only on the completion of the project as it benefits the district as a whole, one could be indifferent to whether the proposed road passes through paddy farms or not. If means are focused on, then due consideration must be taken to the concerns of the farmers and the environmentalists and the road must be built through the earlier proposed route, ie, by acquiring lands of wealthy businessmen and demolishing party office

  8. Options available: Option 1: Proceed with the present alignment - complete land acquisition so that the proposed national highway passes through paddy land . Option 2: Proceed with the alternate alignment - complete land acquisition so that the proposed national highway passes through fallow land Option 3: Organise a meeting with all the stakeholders and arrive at an objective decision

  9. Body Course of action: I would organise a meeting of all the stakeholders, where both the proposals would be put forward, with a focus on the consequences of going ahead with the options . I would give reasons on why the district administration wants to go ahead with the alternative alignment, as it upholds the principles of equity, inclusivity and sustainability

  10. Body Course of action: To make my case stronger, I would present objective evidence from the detailed investigation into the matter and try to persuade them into accepting the alternate alignment . I would inform the details of the alternate land which would be made available as compensation to them I would also detail out a rehabilitation plan in consultation with them I would try to persuade both the businessmen and the local party office that completion of this project would benefit them as it would boost the revenues of the businessmen, and boost the image of the ruling party as it was an electoral promise I would also emphasize on the fact that since the farmers and environmentalists have started protesting, the issue would soon be in the media and could dent their image

  11. Conclusion : Public servants must have the sensitivity and ingenuity to balance developmental need with those of the environment. As a civil servant, one should maximise the public interest by focusing on principles of equity, inclusivity, empathy and compassion towards the weaker section