Land acquisition for National Highway 66 causes conflicts across Kerala coast

Reported by

Dr. K.H. Amitha Bachan

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016

Updated on

December 13, 2016

Location of Conflict

Puthuppanam

Kasargod, Palakkad and Thiruvananthapuram

Kozhikode

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3567

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Kerala

Sector

Infrastructure

National Highway 66 (NH 66) runs parallel to the western Indian coast, following a route from Panvel, south of Mumbai, to Kanyakumari, in Tamil Nadu. NH 66 runs through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Within Kerala, the NH 66 replaced the NH-17 and much of the NH-47. The expansion of the NH 66 into a 6 lane NH is underway in several of the states, however in Kerala several land conflicts along the NH route have prevented further construction, or in part, halted construction.
The NH 66 expansion will only be for 4 lanes in Kerala as opposed to the 6 lanes in other neighbouring states. A total of 3,567ha of land needs to be acquired for widening 590 km of highway corridor from Kasaragod - Thiruvananthapuram. The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has agreed to route ₹26,000 crore through the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). As of January 2019, 2,560 ha are still required in widening the Kasaragod - Thiruvananthapuram stretch of the NH 66 by 45 m.
The project was proposed to be finished in 2020 however problems in land acquisition have delayed the project by a year. Land acquisitions were temporarily halted when the NHAI removed all national highway projects in Kerala from the high priority-I list, this decision was subsequently revoked a few days later, June (2019).
There are several stretches of the NH 66 route with ongoing land conflicts. In the north, near Kozhikode, massive resistance came from the residents of Puthuppanam near Vadakara and Azhiyur in Mahe. In 2018, protests against the land acquisition survey, for the NH 66 development, turned violent in the Malappuram district. Clashes left 15 policemen including injured. In February 2019, the Revenue Department officials continued to plant alignment stones for the proposed widening of National Highway 66 amid protest by residents along the stretch of the highway between Edappally and Moothakunnam. Samyukta Samara Samiti has accused the administration of trying to bulldoze its way to acquiring land. No public hearing had been conducted nor had statutory clearances for the project been obtained, said Hashim Chennampilly of the Samara Samiti. This led to delay in land acquisition.
In September 2020, notification was issued under the National Highway Act of 1956 to acquire 54.46 ha of land belonging to 11 villages. Between September 2020 and November, the public hearing will be conducted in villages by the tahsildar. The compensation will be decided according to Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. The work is scheduled to start in 2021.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

26000

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

2018

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule 1, Item 7f: The acquisition above requires 45m, any acquisition >45m on existing structure requires mandatory prior environmental clearance 
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 16: Preparation of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Scheme by the Administrator
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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.

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:

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

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

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Highway Authority of India (NHAI)

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Wilbur Smith Associates Inc. USA ; Guruvayur Infrastructure Pvt Ltd

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

local landowners, Fishing communities, Samyukta Samara Samiti

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

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Reviewed By

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