Employees of Sugar Company in Odisha Demand Land Promised 50 Years Ago

Reported by

Shazia NigarLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Rayagada

,

Rayagada

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Industry

Sugar

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1440

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

318

ha

State

Odisha

Sector

Industry

Former employees of the Jeypore Sugar Company (JSC), who had paid a deposit for residential plots spread over 787 acres of land in Rayagada, are demanding that the stipulated land be allotted to them. They have also demanded that a part of the unused land should be used for developing civic amenities. JSC was set up in 1936 and attracted migrant workers from other districts. In 1971, 300 employees of the company deposited INR 300 each for residential plots that the company promised to allot to them. However, JSC became dysfunctional in the 1980s, and the employees did not get their due. Despite repeated attempts stretching over decades, during which many of the former employees died, JSC has been unresponsive to the demand for housing. In 1992, the Revenue Officer of Rayagada had instructed JSC to return 507 acres to its former employees under the Land Ceiling Act. The JSC appealed to the sub-divisional magistrate and additional district magistrate, and both the authorities upheld the Revenue Officers order. JSC then took the matter to the Orissa High Court, where the case is pending. In June 2019, family members of the former employees organised themselves as the Retired Employees Union and staged a blockade in front of the JSC office reiterating their demand for housing allotment. Prior to the protest, the Union members had unsuccessfully tried to meet the JSC managing director in Chennai. The Union had also staged a peaceful protest outside the gates of the defunct JSC factory. Rayagada tehsildar Umashankar Sahu met the protesters and promised to take up the issue with the Advocate General of the Orissa High Court for further action. Apart from the lack of response from the JSC, the conflict is complicated by the stand of the queen of Jeypore, who claims that the land in question belongs to the royal family. The queen told the media that the land was leased out to JSC, which fraudulently made the Record of Rights in its name in connivance with the state revenue authorities. The royal family is preparing for a legal battle and is willing to distribute the land for both civic amenities and housing for JSCs former employees.

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Common

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

318

ha

Starting Year

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Rayagada Revenue Office

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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