Farmers Oppose Mallannasagar Reservoir in Telangana, Demand Compensation under LARR Act

Reported by

SeethalakshmiLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 19, 2021

Location of Conflict

Thoguta and Kondapaaka tehsils

Medak

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Multipurpose Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

14938

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

8126

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Telangana

Sector

Infrastructure

The Mallanasagar dam, estimated to cost INR 9,800 crore, is set to store 51 thousand million cubic feet of water and irrigate close to 12 lakh acres of land in Telangana. However, the project will have significant impact on 14 villages, eight of which will be completely submerged. The project, requiring about 20,079 acres of land, has run into land acquisition issues for the compensation package it offers. In July 2017, farmers from Vemulghat village were 400 days into a hunger strike, protesting against the construction of the reservoir. Having started in June 2016 when the project was announced, they were persistent in their demand for the implementation of Right to Fair Compensation in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which would fetch them market rates as against the low rates the government was offering. Earlier in July 2016, the state had briefly imposed Section 144 on the village until the high court ordered its removal in September 2016. In July 2017, five more villages joined the protest demanding that the government first notify them before acquiring lands and then compensate them suitably. This was because the notification for land acquisition was issued in newspapers with the names of farmers without seeking their consent, and no time and space were given to people for filing their objections and opinions. Besides protests and strikes, villagers had also actively filed petitions and memorandums against the government's moves. In 2016, the village residents challenged Government Order 123, which violated the 2013 Land Acquisition Act, which led to the high court ruling in their favour. In January 2018, the court directed the Telangana government to stall the process of land acquisition in Vemulghat village, the only village yet to agree to give up its land. The court ordered the state to attend to their objections before commencing the process of land acquisition. In February 2021, the houses being built for the residents in the rehabilitation and resettlement colony were opened for them to visit and inspect. The construction is not over yet, but the villagers have been asked to vacate to a temporary facility until the work on the houses is completed. They have, however, decided to wait so as to shift directly to their permanent houses. In March 2021, state officials resolved to address the grievances of the oustees, with works on the reservoir nearing completion. To this end, separate counters have been opened at the tahsildar and RDO offices for affected villagers to submit their grievances regarding rehabilitation.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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

Region Classification

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

9800

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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, Environmental Laws

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:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people, Controversial land acquisition by the government , Violation of free prior informed consent, Violation of LARR Act, Incorrect estimation of compensation

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)

High Court for the State of Telangana

Case Number

WP 17222/2018,WP 26421/2017, WP 26421/2017, WP 35059/2017, WP 20027/2018

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

Protests/marches, Hunger strikes, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue Department, Special Land Acquisition Officer, District Collector, Joint Collector

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:

Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Congress Party, Telugu Desam Party, Mallannasagar Mumpu Graamala Porata Samiti, Telangana Rashtra Samithi

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
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Documented By

Seethalakshmi

Reviewed By

Seethalakshmi

Updated By

Seethalakshmi

Edited By

SeethalakshmiLand Conflict Watch
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