Farmers in Telangana's Khammam District Oppose National Highway Project

Reported by

Shivam MoghaLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

April 17, 2021

Location of Conflict

Khammam

Khammam

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

808

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Telangana

Sector

Infrastructure

In** November 2018, farmers from nine tehsils in Khammam district Khammam Urban, Chintakani, Thallada, Konijerla, Wyra, Penuballi, Kallur, Vemsoor and Sattupalli protested at the District Collectorate office in Khammam against the proposed KhammamDevarapalli greenfield national highway project, fearing acquisition of their fertile agricultural land. The KhammamDevarapalli greenfield national highway is a pet project of the Telangana government, approved by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) under the Centre's Bharatmala Pariyojana economic corridor development initiative. The project, which was proposed in 2016, aims to reduce the distance between Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh and Khammam in Telangana from 220 kilometres to 197 kilometres, improving the connectivity between remote areas in the two states. However, the project is likely to **affect 2,000 farming households by acquiring 1,996 acres of their agricultural lands. The demands of the Telangana Farmers' Joint Action Committee offers two alternatives: the government should either upgrade the existing 100feet KhammamAswaraopet state highway into a national highway, which will benefit everyone without affecting agricultural productivity or displacing farmers, or the compensation amount should be increased satisfactorily. In February 2021, the NHAI agreed to reduce the width of the highway from 70 metres to 60 metres, which will potentially save 350 acres of agricultural land. The Centre, too, agreed to increase compensation per acre from INR 12 Lakh to INR 25 Lakh. Yet, the farmers have stayed put in their opposition, fuelled by the mounting insecurity of being evicted from their own lands. The concerned authorities, provisionally directed by the Telangana high court in February 2021 to not dispossess the petitioners from their lands, have not begun the land acquisition process and are still awaiting environmental clearances.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Complaint against procedural violations

Upgrade the state highway into a national highway

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

4609

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

2020

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

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

    Chapter V [Rehabilitation and resettlement Award]

  2. National Highways Act, 1956

    Section 2 [Declaration of certain highways to be national highways]; Section 3A [Power to acquire land - Where the Central government is satisfied that for a public purpose any land is required for the building, maintenance, management or operation of a national highway or part thereof, it may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare its intention to acquire such land]; Section 3C [Hearing of objections]; Section 3D [Declaration of acquisition - Where no objection under Section 3C has been made to the competent authority, the Central government shall declare, by notification in the Official Gazette, that the land should be acquired for the purpose or purposes]

  3. Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006

    Paragraph 7 [Stages in the prior environmental clearance process for new projects] read with Item 7(f) of the Schedule [Highways]

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:

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 for the State of Telangana

Case Number

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

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Revenue Department of Telangana, Transport Department, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (overseeing the Bhartmala Pariyojana Programme), National Highways Authority of India

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:

Larsen & Toubro

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Telangana Rythu Sangam, Communist Party of India, Congress Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi

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

Shivam Mogha

Reviewed By

Shivam Mogha

Updated By

Shivam Mogha

Edited By

Shivam MoghaLand Conflict Watch
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