Shillong Airport Functional after Initial Unrest between Umroi Residents, Meghalaya Government

Reported by

Jonah

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016

Updated on

October 18, 2016

Location of Conflict

Nongpoh

Ri Bhoi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Airport

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

500

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

91

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Meghalaya

Sector

Infrastructure

The Shillong Airport in Umroi was constructed in the mid1960s and became operational in the mid1970s. The airport was expanded for the first time in 2011 by acquiring 224.16 acres of land from the residents of some villages in Ri Bhoi district. The new terminal, built at a cost of INR 30 crore, was inaugurated in June 2011. In 2013, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) was allotted land to further expand the runway from 6,000 feet to about 8,000 feet. In April that year, land owners alleged that they had not received compensation for their land acquired in 2011 and stalled the construction of the boundary wall while setting a deadline of monthend for the payment of compensation. At the time, the AAI had supposedly released compensation funds, but the payment was allegedly delayed by the state government. Inevitably, the expansion work also got delayed. In January 2015, Alliance Air stopped services from Shillong Airport because the North Eastern Council (NEC) had failed to pay pending dues. This rendered the airport nonfunctional. However, the NEC invited proposals twice and attracted seven bidders the second time around. In October 2015, the AAI took possession of land belonging to 200 people in Umroi, which led to unrest. The Meghalaya high court directed the deputy commissioner to invoke the urgency clause under Section 40 of the LARR Act, 2013, essentially ruling against the local people. In May 2016, the state government alledgedly demolished at least 15 houses in two villages in Umroi Pyllun and Nongsder to acquire land for the runway expansion without giving prior notice to the occupants. The village heads filed two petitions against the land acquisition, forceful eviction of residents and destruction of property, following which the Supreme Court stayed the October 2015 Meghalaya high court order. Subsequently, a legal notice was served to the deputy commissioner of Ri Bhoi district. In September 2018, the state government signed a memorandum of understanding with Dhar Construction Company and estimated completion of the project by March 2020. Surprisingly, at a public hearing in the district in January 2019, the residents whose houses were demolished said they had no objection to the proposed expansion of the airport but demanded safe and better roads, a hospital and employment. Shillong Airport is now operational.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for promised compensation

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

186

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 41 [In case of acquisition or alienation of any land in the Scheduled Areas, prior consent of the District Council shall be obtained]; Section 24 [This section states that proceedings under the 1894 Act shall lapse if no award has been made for five years]; Section 27 [This section provides for determination of the amount of compensation]; Section 41 [This section states that land in Scheduled Areas should be acquired only as a last resort. The prior consent of District Councils in Scheduled Areas must be obtained before acquisition or alienation of any land]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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:

Delay in compensation

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Violation of free prior informed consent

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Meghalaya, Supreme Court

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Ten houses in Pyllun village and five houses in Nongsder village were allegedly demolished without serving prior notices, displacing families.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Umroi

Nature of Protest

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Meghalaya (MUA-II), Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council, Ri Bhoi District Authority, Airports Authority of India

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:

Dhar Construction Company

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Army (BSF), Hynniewtrep Youth Council, Khasi Students' Union, Joint Action Committee

Resources Related to Conflict

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

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