Farmers in Kannur Protest Against Land Acquisition for Highway Project

Reported by

Sooraj H S

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

July 26, 2018

July 26, 2018

Updated on

July 26, 2018

Location of Conflict

Keezhattur

Kannur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

60

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

29

ha

Starting Year

2017

State

Kerala

Sector

Infrastructure

Keezhattur is an agrarian village in the Kannur district of Kerala with large paddy fields which are also wetlands. The state government wants to acquire land passing through the paddy fields of the village for constructing a road that will bypass Taliparamba town as a part of a fourlane highway for NH 66 (Kochi to Mumbai) to avoid traffic congestion. For this, the National Highway Authority of India needs to acquire 29.11 hectares of land. Of which, 21.09 hectares are wetlands including paddy fields, which serve as the water recharge points for Keezhattur and nearby villages. Thus, the Keezhattur antiacquisition protest seeks attention into different issues. Beyond the antiacquisition agenda, there lies a major environmental controversy. Villagers have been opposing the Road Project to protect their lands from being destroyed. The agitating farmers call themselves Vayalkilikal (birds of the paddy field). When the protests started six months ago, it was a small protest by a mere 60 farmers of the village. Over the time it had converted to a huge struggle with support from various environmental activist groups, political parties and civil society organisations. The protest has been gaining momentum since. In March 2018, protestors threatened to immolate themselves and took over the paddy fields. However, police arrested 49 protestors to diffuse the tension. As per the news report, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change expert published a report in June 2018, which states that the project requires to be streamlined to ensure that most of the wetlands are saved. Also, it highlights the need for analysis of the possible effects during the peak of monsoon on the village. The report has strengthened the arguments provided by farmers. However, the  Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has already published the notification and is planning to go ahead with the acquisition. In August 2018, a delegation from Vayalkilikal had a meeting with the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and now, plans on submitting suggestions and alternatives to save the wetlands. They are also planning to seek out legal aid, according to a new report.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

No items found.

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

3500

Type of investment:

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

National Highways Act, 1956
Section 3A: Power to acquire land for building National Highway (In this case a 3A notification was issued)
Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008
Section 3: Prohibition on conversion or reclamation of paddy land
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule 1, item 7f: EIA compulsory for by-passes being constructed that acquire more than 60m of land
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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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

No items found.

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Public Works Department, Kerala, National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NTPRC)

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NTPRC), Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB)

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

BJP, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, National Alliance of Peoples Movements (NAPM)

Resources Related to Conflict

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

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