Bhil Families Displaced by Machannala Dam in Gujarat Demand Prormised Land

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 23, 2021

Location of Conflict



This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






In 1978, the Gujarat government decided to construct a dam on the Machhan River in Nan Salai, and in 1982, close to 600 families were relocated two kilometers away. These families, mostly belonging to the Bhil tribe, opposed and resisted the project, but the government eventually succeeded in convincing them to move out. However, almost four decades later, many of these families are demanding land that was once promised to them. During the time of their relocation, the state government had promised these families some land in Kalitala, a forest area, but over the years, the forest department has refused to acknowledge their rights over the land. The small, earthen dam is built primarily for irrigation, and the water it relases reaches the homes of the people who were relocated near the dam, making the ground marshy. A local resident said, For at least three months of the year, we are surrounded by water from three fronts, which makes it impossible to grow any crop. Even if we plant some crop, the spillway from the dam ensures that the entire crop rots. Without their own land or the promised land, the farmers now struggle to cultivate crops around their new homes owing to a substantial increase in the submergence area. The primary purpose of the Machannala Dam has also n[ot been served](http://Although the Machannala Dam is categorised as an irrigation dam, the water for irrigation has also not reached the villages Sampoi, Raniar, Varod, Nan Salai, Chansar and Tandi, where the displaced people live.); the water for irrigation has, till date, not reached the villages Sampoi, Raniar, Varod, Nan Salai, Chansar and Tandi, where the displaced people live. This has left the displaced with neither land nor water. The residents claim that the flooding, instead, is causing severe infection among the children. Many of the displaced families have taken out multiple protest marches, but the government, which believes that the Bhils have been compensated adequately, has been unresponsive.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for promised land, Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Region Classification


Type of Land


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, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

    Section 3(1)(a): [Right to live on and hold forestland]; Section 4(1): [Forest rights are vested with Scheduled Tribe communities]

  2. Land Acquisition Act, 1894

    Section 11: [Enquiry and determination of the amount of compensation payable]

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:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

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

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest


Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Gujarat

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:

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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