Chandigarh Farmers Allege Land Acquisition for Urbanisation in Garb of Public Purpose

Reported by

Meenakshi KapoorLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

September 20, 2021

Location of Conflict

Dhanas

Dadu Majra

Chandigarh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

528

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

7

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Chandigarh

Sector

Infrastructure

The finance department of Chandigarh Administration notified in November 2018 that it was in the process of acquiring 17.8 acres of land in Dhanas (5.57 acres) and Dadu Majra (12.23 acres) villages. This was to connect Dakshin Marg in Chandigarh to PR4 road along the ChandigarhPunjab border. The length of the proposed road is about 1.8 kilometres. In the notification for the land acquisition, which was issued on June 11, 2018, the government shared that the Social Impact Assessment for the project had already been conducted and accordingly, 110 families had been identified whose agricultural land would be acquired. It stated that no family would be displaced. Under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, even if land acquisition does not involve displacement, the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) scheme in a project must mention the impacts, details of consultations conducted and compensation. The R&R scheme for this project mentioned** **that the land was being acquired for public purpose i.e. building a road and not for urbanisation. The land acquisition was challenged in the Chandigarh high court by those who have lost their lands. The petitioners (Jaspal Singh and Others) have contended that the government is trying to implement an urbanisation project in the garb of land acquisition for public purpose to deny land losers their right to 20 per cent of the developed land in case of urbanisation, as stipulated in Schedule II of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. To support their case, the petitioners challenged the stated purpose of the project by highlighting that an alternate route of DhanasMullanpurSiswan connecting Punjab to Dakshin Marg in Chandgarh is only two kilometres away from the proposed land acquisition site, so the objective of the project is urbanisation and not connectivity. A singlejudge bench forwarded the petition to the chief justice suggesting that the case be heard as a public interest litigation. The petitioners also stated that for the first time, the land acquisition was being initiated without updating the revenue record of the land in question. They claimed that the records had not been updated for decades. Updating of records before any land acquisition is a standard practice of the revenue department to inform the public about the rights of ownership over the land. As of October 1, 2019, the Chandigarh Administration declared Dhanas and Dadu Majra as Resettlement Areas for the R&R scheme. It calculated the compensation amount for the residents of Dhanas at the rate of INR 1.88 crore per acre and INR 1.15 crore per acre for the residents of Dadu Majra. The petitioners suspected that the Chandigarh Administration issued the policy for land acquisition through negotiation just before the acquisition to avoid paying fair compensation to the land owners as prescribed under the Land Acquisition Act. On November 20, 2019, the court issued a notice of motion on the petition. LCW wrote to the district commissioner to get a response on the petitioners' claims, but no response was received. In May 2020, the Chandigarh Administration announced a new compensation package of INR 74.67 crore amount under Section 26 of the LARR Act.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Complaint against procedural violations

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

    Section 3(c)(i) [An affected family for the purposes of this Act includes a family whose land or other immovable property has been acquired]; Section 4(4)(c) [The Social Impact Assessment shall include an estimation of all public and private lands and other common properties likely to to affected by the acquisition]; Section 6 [A public hearing shall be conducted in the affected area to ascertain the views of the affected families]; Section 11 [Before a notification declaring the intent to acquire land is published, the Collector shall update the land records within a period of two months]; Section 26 [The Collector may determine the amount of compensation based on the market value of the land, the average sale price for similar land in the area or the amount of compensation agreed upon]; Schedule II(3) [When land is acquired for urbanisation, 20 per cent of the developed land will be reserved and offered to the affected families in proportion to the area of their land acquired]

  2. Haryana Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Rules, 2018

    Rule 9 [The Social Impact Assessment study shall include details regarding the land to be acquired and the environmental, social and other impacts of the acquisition]; Rule 20 [The R&R scheme must contain details of the displaced families as well as the affected families]

  3. Policy for Land Acquisition through Negotiation, 2018

    Clause 1 [Whenever the government requires any land for a public purpose, it may acquire it as per the provisions of this policy through negotiations]; Clause 3 [A consensus has to be reached between the land owners and the land acquisition officer regarding the total value of the land and the rates of acquisition]; Clause 5 [No benefit mentioned in LARR, 2013 shall be payable to land owners whose land gets acquired under this policy]

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?

No

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Controversial land acquisition by the government , Land-record discrepancies

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Punjab and Haryana

Case Number

C.W.P. No. 25187 of 2019

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

No

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

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Chandigarh Administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

No

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

Meenakshi Kapoor

Reviewed By

Meenakshi Kapoor

Updated By

Meenakshi Kapoor

Edited By

Meenakshi KapoorLand Conflict Watch
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