Farmers in West Bengal Oppose IT park Project, Demand Employment Promised Earlier

Reported by

Mitali Biswas

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016

Updated on

October 4, 2016

Location of Conflict

Shibpur

Birbhum

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Smart City

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

100

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

121

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

West Bengal

Sector

Infrastructure

In 2001, the Left Front government in West Bengal acquired nearly 300 acres of land at Shibpur in Birbhum district to set up industries. The farmers were promised employment in the industrial units when their land was acquired and was awarded a compensation of INR 48,000 for each bigha acquired (1 bigha in the state is equal to 0.33 acres). The compensation was far less than the market rate of land, which was INR 68,000 per bigha. As a result, the farmers protested by removing the pillars erected and demanded compensation at the market rate. The industry construction was then stalled. In 2009, the Trinamool-led Sriniketan Santiniketan Agricultural Land Protection Committee planted paddy on the land in front of the guarding police. In 2016, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that an IT park and a university would be built as part of Gitabitan Township, a smart city project, on the acquired land. She estimated employment for about two lakh people. This did not go down well with farmers, who had given up their land in the hope that they would get employment in the industry. Sheikh Yusuf, a local resident, says it is not possible to get employment if the university comes up. On January 30, 2017, more than 100 farmers, comprising mostly sharecroppers who had not received compensation for their lands, armed with iron rods and sticks, attacked construction workers working at the site of the proposed university, which was being built on 20 acres of the acquired land. On February 3, 2017, 21 people who had lost their lands filed a case in the Calcutta High Court against the government's decision to build a smart city and university. The administration offered an additional INR 20,000 per bigha to land losers to subdue the agitation. The villagers claimed the government's offer was "too little, too late".   In May 2019, Land Conflict Watch reached out to the West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited for an update on the conflict but was unable to get a response. An email was also sent, to which there was no response.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised

Demand for promised compensation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

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

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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:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Calcutta High Court

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

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Property damage/arson

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

West Begal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (HIDCO), Trinamool Congress

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:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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