Bihar Farmers Form Groups, Protest Against Delayed Compensation for Digha Housing Colony

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 10, 2021

Location of Conflict

Rajeev Nagar

Patna

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Township/Real Estate

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

330

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

415

ha

Starting Year

1974

State

Bihar

Sector

Infrastructure

In 1974, the Bihar State Housing Board (BSHB) decided to acquire 1,024.52 acres of land in present Rajeev Nagar in Patna for the proposed Digha Housing Colony. As per the land acquisition law of that time, the farmers were to get INR 2,200 per 1,360 square feet, but many farmers' lands were acquired without paying them due compensation. The farmers who did not receive the compensation protested against the government's decision to unreasonably leave them out of the compensation scheme and refused to give up their land. Meanwhile, BSHB had deposited INR 17.42 crore in the account of the district collector of Patna towards the acquisition of land. Of the 1,024.52 acres of land that was to be developed by the BSHB, around 600 acres were sold by the erstwhile owners or farmers to other parties, making it challenging for the Board to execute the project. This also created a mess over the ownership of land among the original landowners, allotees and occupants. To resolve the dispute, the Bihar government enacted a law on April 20, 2010. The state Cabinet subsequently approved the Digha Land Acquisition Settlement Rules and Scheme, 2014, fixing the compensation rate, but the landowners were not convinced and maintained that their land had not been acquired by the government. Chandramunshi Singh, one of the founding members of the Digha Krishi Bhumi Awas Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, formed to protest against the Settlement Rules, is quoted in a news report as saying: "The government's land acquisition process in the disputed area was never completed, so we still own the land." In 2017, the Bihar chief secretary instructed the BSHB to construct a boundary wall around 400 acres of the disputed land. They faced violent protests by the locals. In November that year, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Baad Sukhad Pidit Sangarsh Morcha, an organisation protesting the land acquisition in Digha, agitated for almost a month, demanding adequate compensation for the farmers. According to a survey report of 1994, there are 330 applicants for compensation. As per the Settlement Rules, the 600 acres of land on the eastern side of AshianaDigha Road on which new new houses were built would be regularised after the payment of a settlement charge, while the remaining 400 acres on the western side of the road will be acquired by the housing board for its own projects. The farmers and residents living on this side have opposed the proposal. In January 2019, violence erupted between alleged miscreants and the administration during an antiencroachment drive, in which a dozen cops were injured. The drive was conducted by the Patna district administration in association with Patna Police to hand over six acres of land to the Board. The land was to be acquired to set up offices of Sashastra Seema Bal and the Central Board of Secondary Education. In January 2021, farmers under the banner of Digha Krishi Bhumi Awas Bachao Sangharsh Samiti announced that they will be campaigning soon in a phased manner to free the Digha land and were looking forward to meet former Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha, along with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. They continue to reject occupancy on the land and demand compensation at the current rate.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for promised compensation, Refusal to give up land for the project, Complaint against procedural violations, Demand for more compensation than promised

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Other, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India, High Court of Bihar at Patna

Case Number

AIR 1984 SC 1767, C.W.J.C. No. 3991/ 1987, C.W.J.C. No.16533 of 2017

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

In January 2019, violence erupted between alleged miscreants and the district administration during an anti-encroachment drive, in which a dozen cops were injured.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Development of a network or collective action , Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media), Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Bihar State Housing Board, Patna Police, Patna Municipal Corporation

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Digha Krishi Bhumi Awas Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Rajiv Nagar Vyavasaik Nyas, Akhil Bharatiya Baad Sukhad Pidit Sangarsh Morcha

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch
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