Locals Affected by NHAI's Kiratpur-Manali Highway Demand Fair Compensation

Reported by

Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective

Published on

April 18, 2019

April 18, 2019

Updated on

April 18, 2019

Location of Conflict

Manali Aut, Nagwain, Panarsa, Balichowki

Bilaspur

Mandi

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

10000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

90

ha

Starting Year

2012

State

Himachal Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The National Highways Authority of Indias (NHAI) fourlane project on National Highway 21 has sparked protests in the Mandi and Bilaspur districts of Himachal Pradesh. The local landowners, shopkeepers and farmers have demanded fair compensation for the land acquisition under the 84.83kilometre Kiratpur to Ner Chowk fourlane project, affecting forest and nonforest land. The project work started in 2013.  In Mandi, the affected persons have collected under the banner of Fourlane Sangharsh Samiti to put forward their demands. Since, they have continued to protest, submitted memorandums, and filed court cases.  Similarly, in Bilaspur, the Four Lane Visthapit and Prabhavit Samiti are representing the affected persons. In 2016, the head of the Samiti claimed that the state did not compensate over 10,000 projectaffected farmers. The affected families are concerned about the low compensation rates offered, delay in compensation, and the loss of livelihoods due to the acquisition of their commercial, agricultural, and residential lands. The president of the Samiti in Mandi, retired army officer Khushal Thakur, has also claimed that the state government is violating the LARR 2013 Act.  As per a news report, the state government has applied "factor one" to the compensation rates, while the party manifesto at the time of the state election in 2017 had promised to apply "factor two", which would increase the compensation rates fourtimes the market value. Meanwhile, the Chief Minister assured that the government was contemplating over granting "factor two".  In July 2018, a news report stated that due to displacement, almost 90 per cent of the market in four of these villages, namely Thalot, Aut, Panasra and Dador, would be wiped off.  Another news article reported that the project led to the displacement of 350 families without compensation, though the award was announced in January 2018 itself. It also stated that the delay in construction was adding to the woes of the displaced.  In January 2019, the state government also set up a subcommittee to address the problem of compensation. Meanwhile, the Four Lane Visthapit and Prabhavit Samiti, complained that NHAI was attempting to divert 75 Ha of forest land illegally and had dumped muck in the forest. Following this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change launched an inquiry into the issue.  In June 2020, the Ministry paused the project after finding the authority violation of the original plan. Subsequently, the district administrations were directed to take up an inquiry. In December, the Samitis head claimed that NHAI had still not removed the muck. The locals have also raised concerns about the poor conditions of the roads under construction as it is a landslideprone region.  The work has only partially resumed since.  In March 2021, the inquiries on the irregularities were still ongoing. The project was supposed to complete in September 2021 after multiple delays. However, according to a news report, the project is now proposed to finish in March 2022 with increased costs as a consequence of the new expansion plan for two tunnels and the restrictions imposed by the lockdown. Meanwhile, the affected in the two districts continue to demand fair compensation. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for more compensation than promised

Demand for compensation

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

2291

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, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 27 [Amount of compensation is determined under this section]; Section 77 [Compensation is to be paid under this section]; Section 80 [Under this section, when compensation is not paid or if there is delay, interest becomes payable]; Second Schedule, Paragraphs 1, 5, 6, 10 and 11 [Displaced families are entitled to either housing units or compensation; subsistence grant, transportation costs, a one-time resettlement allowance, and any stamp duty or registration charges for the new housing units are to be borne by the entity responsible for the displacement]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2(ii) [Union government's approval is required before any clearing of forest land for purposes other than reafforestation]
Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2003
Rule 9 [Central Government empowered to authorise an officer to file complaints against persons guilty of offences under the Act.]
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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-rehabilitation of displaced people

Delay in compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Incorrect estimation of compensation

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Demolition of houses without compensation

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Development of a network or collective

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways 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:

Kiratpur Ner Chowk Expressway Ltd. (KNCEL), Asian Development Bank

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

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:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
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