Adani Abandons Bhavanapadu Port Deal in Andhra Pradesh Citing Land Acquisition Delays

Reported by

Furkan KhanLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

July 14, 2020

Location of Conflict

Vajrapukotturu

,

Devunaltada, Marripadu and Bhavanapadu villages

Srikakulam

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Port

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

8640

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

830

ha

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The plan to develop the ports of Bhavanapadu and Machilipatnam are part of the Central government’s Sagarmala scheme for its agenda of port-led economic development. In 2015, the Andhra Pradesh government issued a land acquisition ordinance by amending the LARR Act, 2013, to acquire land for various projects, including 4,500 acres for the Bhavanapadu port.

However, the notification to acquire land for the project was backdated to August 28, 2015, instead of September 1-2, 2015, before the expiry of the ordinance on August 31. In the ordinance, the requirement to obtain consent of 70 per cent of the affected population and to conduct a social impact assessment were removed.

The farmers and fisherfolk in the area  opposed the land acquisition for the project. Speaking in a public meeting, a YSR Congress leader said that "fisherfolk cannot live in other places once their lives were detached from the sea,” the leader said. “The government had hurriedly issued the notification just a few days before the ordinance lapsed. It is nothing but backstabbing people. We will expose the government’s ill motives for sure,” she added. The leaders from YSR Congress asked the affected people to submit petitions from each family at the Collector’s Grievance Cell, opposing the sea port.

Due to the resistance, the land requirement for the port was reduced to 2,500 acres in 2016. The government claimed that this will not infringe into any of the villages and that the port will be built along the shore line.

In January 2018, Adani Ports was selected as the developer after successfully bidding for the port. In October that year, the government stated in a new proposal that it will need 2,321 acres for the port to be constructed by Adani — 578 acres in Devunaltada, 1,439 acres in Marripadu and 304 acres in Bhavanapadu villages. Rolling back on the earlier statement that the port will not infringe any village, the new proposal stated that the people of Devunaltada and Marripadu villages would be required to completely vacate their villages. The government in return promised monetary compensation and special package to the farmers who would give up their land. It has proposed a colony for all the displaced families, including the landless poor. A suitable plot of land is being identified in the mandal itself to enable the villagers to reside near the coast. A fishing jetty is also being planned for the benefit of the villagers. According to the local administration, "the fisherfolk and local community has positively responded to the proposed package".

In January 2019, the government announced that it would provide compensation to 2,300 families. In April that year, it was reported that the district administration is in the process of conducting a comprehensive survey of the land, structures and horticulture crops in the proposed villages.

In April 2020, Adani Ports abandoned the deal and refused to "sign the concession agreement, citing issues like land acquisition for over a year". The government is now planning to restructure the port based on the Landlord model, in which the state will handle infrastructure and land acquisition for the port and a private entity will run the cargo.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

3725

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

830

ha

Starting Year

2015

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Govt. of the State of Andhra Pradesh

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, YSR Congress, Indian National Congress

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra Pradesh (INCAP)

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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