Manipur Village Threatens to Stop Tallest Railway Project if not Compensated Fairly

Reported by

Thokchom Seema

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

Updated on

September 1, 2016

Location of Conflict

Marangching

Tamenglong

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Railways

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1680

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1748

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Manipur

Sector

Infrastructure

Northeast Frontier Railways is constructing the world's tallest bridge pier in Manipur's Marangching village. A part of the 111kilometre JiribamImphal railway project, the bridge is set to be constructed at a pier height of 141 metres. The project completion is likely to be in March 2022, at a cost of INR 280 crore. In July 2016, the residents of Marangching halted construction in all work sites, calling foul on compensation. Earlier, they had served an ultimatum to the state government, demanding it to intervene for complete payment of land compensation and to use data collected in the land survey. When Tamenglong District Collector Armstrong Pame failed to pay heed to their demands, they blocked the construction site. The residents also claimed that the project severely affected the area's ecosystem and subsequently the villagers, with almost 90 per cent of cultivable land in the area either submerged or directly affected by the project. On that account, they demanded that the state government compensate them under the LARR Act of 2013. The conflict started when the notifications issued by Pame for land acquisition failed to reach the public, and the land survey began without their knowledge. Two persons from Marangching had declared ownership over the land being acquired, and the survey authorities had accepted the claim without checking its legality. Infuriated, the residents demanded a resurvey earliest by December 2015 and latest by January 3, 2016. When the authorities failed to comply, the people imposed a general strike to stop all construction activity. In July 2016, the secretary of the Joint Action Committee of Marangching warned that construction work would not be allowed to take off if the authorities failed to settle the issue. On February 16, 2018, the villagers announced a "ban" on construction work, claiming that the INR 36 crore compensation amount had been siphoned off to pay the two residents who claimed ownership over the land. The project was interrupted for a whole month that year. In August 2019, Pame was transferred despite numerous court cases pending against him, including the issuance of a prosecution sanction in connection with the fraud. The villagers threatened to launch different forms of agitation if Pame was not brought back and rightfully questioned. The same year, he returned to office in Tamenglong, but the residents have still not been compensated. Meanwhile, the companies involved in the construction have been facing losses since April 2016. The officials and labourers have not openly defied the villagers, since they are from outside Manipur, keeping in mind previous instances of mob violence.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand for compensation

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

280

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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

Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 11 [This section provides for publication of preliminary notification to inform affected communities about likely land acquisition]; Section 12 [This section requires the government to prepare a preliminary survey of the land, which must be done in the presence of the owner except in specified circumstances]; Section 27 [This section empowers the collector to determine the compensation amount]; Section 28 [This section enlists the relevant parameters in determination of compensation]
Railways Act, 1989
Section 20A [This section empowers the Central government to issue notification to express its intent to acquire land for special railway projects]; Section 20F [This section provides for determination of amount payable as compensation to affected families]; Section 20-O [This section states that the National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007, would be applicable for project-affected families]
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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:

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

Blockades

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District Administration of Tamenglong, Ministry of Railways, Northeast Frontier Railways

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Brahmaputra Infrastructure Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

SENBO Engineering Limited, Coastal Project Limited, Bharatiya Infra Projects Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Northeast Frontier Railway, JAC of Marangching

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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