Jharkhand Farmers Demand Return of Land Acquired for Defunct Mega Growth Centre

Reported by

AlokLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 15, 2020

Location of Conflict

Konra

,

Hazaribagh

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Manufacturing

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

3000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

202

ha

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Industry

Villagers of Konra in Barhi town have started a series of protests to get back their land acquired for the Barhi Mega Industrial Growth Centre in Hazaribagh district. The proposed industrial park is part of the Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor. The project was conceptualised in 1998 to boost the states image as a major industrial hub. Ranchi Industrial Area Development Authority acquired nearly 750 acres of land for the project, of which 500 acres were acquired from village residents. Vinod Vishwakarma, an activist from Barhi, filed a public interest litigation with the support of affected landowners at the Jharkhand High Court, seeking the return of all acquired land. Since the matter is subjudice, government officials are waiting for the courts decision. The cost of the entire land acquisition and infrastructure is around INR 350 crores. Vishwakarma points out that a major portion of the acquired land is agricultural land, adding that villagers who had given up their land for the project were promised jobs. However, since then, not a single industrial unit has been set up under the growth centre and no employment generated. The families who had given up their farmlands are staring at a livelihood crisis as agriculture was their only source of income. We were cheated by the lawyer representing our case. He told the court that the petitioners did not wish to fight the case anymore and so our case was dismissed in August 2018. But we had never asked him to withdraw the case. People who gave up their land were offered INR 125 per decimal, but the market rate today is INR 35,000 per decimal. This is the magnitude of the injustice to the raiyyats who gave up their land, Vishwakarma told Land Conflict Watch. Activists also underline the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act Amendment of 1993, which states that if no industry or establishment is set up on the acquired land within five years, the land should be returned to the rightful owners. So far, only a boundary well has been erected around the acquired land.

Region Classification

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

350

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

202

ha

Starting Year

1998

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Ranchi Industrial Area Development Authority (RIADA)

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

IL&FS

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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