Farmers Oppose Solar Power Project on Khatedari Land in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer

Reported by

Kuber Bathla

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Updated on

March 24, 2022

Location of Conflict

Uttam Nagar (Lala Karada)

Jaisalmer

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Renewable Power

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

20

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

11

ha

Starting Year

2021

State

Rajasthan

Sector

Power

A solar power project with a capacity of 250 megawatt was commissioned in 2021 by the state to ReNew Power Corporation. The site of the project is spread across different villages in Fatehpur tehsil in Jaisalmer district. In August, a dispute broke out over the project in Lal Karada village on khasra no. 106 and 107 (khasra refers to the survey number of a land). About 15-20 khatedari tenants (people engaged in agriculture who can be liable to pay rent for using the land) claim that the two plots of land belong to them and they refuse to give it up for the project.

The land around khasra no. 106 and 107 has been taken on lease by ReNew Power, but the farmers cultivating on the two plots did not lease the land to the company. However, when ReNew Power tagged the map of the project site online, half of the leased land was shown to be khasra no. 106 and 107. LCW could not verify if it was a technical glitch or a deliberate attempt.

On August 10, when the workers arrived on the disputed plots, the women farmers protested by blocking the access of the JCB. The workers then reportedly sexually assaulted the women and physically assaulted other protesters, besides verbally abusing them. The workers also allegedly destroyed the fencing on the land. The farmers submitted a memorandum to the district collector, additional district magistrate (ADM) and superintendent of police stating how ReNew Power ‘forcibly and illegally’ tried to acquire their land. They demanded a special committee to be set up to measure the land and also demanded compensation for the damage caused by the company’s workers. The farmers also complained to the police superintendent that the police had sided with ReNew Power and filed false cases against them, which they demanded to be withdrawn.

In response, ADM Hari Singh Meena assured the people that the administration would take up the issue soon. On August 26, District Magistrate (DM) Ashish Modi ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the matter, measure the land and submit a report within a week. LCW reached out to Meena and the new DM, Pratibha Singh, for comments. While Singh refused to speak on the matter, Meena told LCW that he was unaware of the issue, which is surprising given that he himself had assured the people of prompt action.

LCW has been informed by sources on the ground that the conflict is yet to be resolved and that the land has not been measured so far. The farmers continue to protest and have submitted a fresh memorandum to the DM.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to get back acquired land

Demand for compensation

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

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?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Rajasthan Land Revenue (Allotment of Land for Setting up of Power Plant based on Renewable Energy Sources) Rules, 2007
Rule 3(4) [Application for allotment of land to be processed and recommended by the District Collector] Rule 5 [Land prohibited under Section 16 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, to not be allotted for projects under these rules]
Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955
Section 16 [The provision lists types of land over which khatedari rights do not exist. The state government is to declare if such land use needs to change to accommodate cultivation rights]
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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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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:

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Land record discrepancies

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

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:

Physical attack

Sexual violence/sexual harassment

Other harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

When the workers of ReNew Power arrived on khasra no. 106 and 107, the women farmers protested by blocking the access of the JCB. The workers then reportedly sexually assaulted the women and physically assaulted other protesters, besides verbally abusing them. The workers also allegedly destroyed the fencing on the land. The farmers claimed that the police had sided with ReNew Power and filed false cases against them.

Date of Violation

August 9, 2021

Location of Violation

Karada Village, Jaisalmer

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District Magistrate of Jaisalmer

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW reached out to District Magistrate Pratibha Singh and Additional District Magistrate Hari Singh Meena. While the former refused to comment, the latter told LCW that he was unaware of the issue.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

LCW called up and emailed the office of ReNew Power and contacted Akshay Sharma but did not get a response.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

ReNew Power

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

LCW called up and emailed the office of ReNew Power and contacted Akshay Sharma but did not get a response.

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:
A Patrika news report on the demand to stop work on the solar power project

A Patrika news report on the demand to stop work on the solar power project

Image Credit:  

Patrika

A Patrika news report on the demand to stop work on the solar power project

Image Credit:  

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