NHAI Forcefully Acquires Agricultural Land of Farmers in Karnataka for Halaga-Machhe Bypass

Reported by

Soumik DuttaLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Halaga

Mache

Belagavi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

Building of bypass

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

65

ha

Starting Year

2011

State

Karnataka

Sector

Infrastructure

Farmers in Karnatakas Belagavi district are protesting against the proposed 12.5-kilometre Halaga-Machhe bypass that will pass through fertile farmlands in Halaga, Belagavi, Old Belagavi, Vadgaon, Shahapur, Angol, Majgaon and Macche villages. The project has been initiated by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to ease vehicular traffic, particularly heavy vehicles going to Goa, passing through Belagavi city. A notification to acquire 135 acres of land for the project was issued in 2011. In January 2019, a second notification was issued to acquire another 25 acres of land for the project. By then, NHAI officials had already commenced work. The farmers allege that the NHAI did not complete the necessary legal procedures before acquiring their lands. They have complained that despite the availability of an alternate route to construct the bypass, the NHAI deliberately targeted private farms. On May 10, 2019, a group of farmers protested at the district commissioners office, alleging that the government was taking the help of the police to forcefully acquire fertile lands. They also threatened to commit suicide if the NHAI continued work on their fields. Surekha S. Balekundri, one of the protesting farmers, told the media that acquiring their land was akin to slow poisoning them. The farmers also allege that NHAI officials were trying to persuade them to accept compensation and give up their land. We have not been informed and no notices were issued to us before transferring rights of our lands to the NHAI. By doing so, the officials are trying to give an impression to the court that the farmers are ready to give away their land for a hefty compensation, Raju Marve of the Sheti Bachav Samiti, a peasant organisation, told a newspaper. LCW spoke to NHAI Project Director J. Eligar, who said he cannot comment on the issue as the matter is sub judice and suggested the researcher to speak to the assistant commissioner of Belgaum, Ashok Dudagunti. When LCW got in touch with Dudagunti, he refused to divulge adequate information. After some prodding, he only said that survey number 50 of the proposed project area is under court order and that the rest of the land acquisition is complete.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Scrapping of the project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

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

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:

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)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches, Refusal of compensation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Land Revenue Department, National Highways Authority of India

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

LCW called up the office of Belagavi District Collector S.B. Bommanahalli, but he was unavailable. The researcher was asked to email the questions, which he did, but got no response.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Soumik Dutta

Reviewed By

Soumik Dutta

Updated By

Soumik Dutta

Edited By

Soumik DuttaLand Conflict Watch
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