UP, MP Governments Go Ahead with Ken Betwa Inter-linking Project Despite Opposition

Reported by

Arpit Deshmukh

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

July 27, 2017

July 27, 2017

Updated on

July 27, 2017

Location of Conflict

Silon

Panna district

Chhatarpur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

5026

ha

Starting Year

2002

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

The KenBetwa Project is an ambitious irrigation project proposed in 1982 by the Centre to link the Ken and Betwa rivers flowing through Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The government claims the project would benefit 13 lakh families by meeting their irrigation, drinking water and electricity needs in the droughtprone areas of the two states. The project, comprising a 231kilometrelong canal between the two rivers as well as two reservoirs, requires the felling of more than 1.8 million trees, besides submerging most of the 6,400 hectares of forestland in and around Panna Tiger Reserve. The project will also submerge nearly 5,026 hectares of private and common land and will displace about 1,000 families inside and outside the reserve, according to a feasibility report by the National Water Development Authority (NWDA). While many environmentalists have demanded scrapping of the project, most affected villagers are demanding fair compensation to the families that will be displaced. Kamlesh Yadav from Palkohan village said in a news report, We do not know what this project is about. We came only because a jeep came to our village, saying we were going to be displaced and that we should attend the public hearing. We have come to demand a fair compensation for displacement, because we know we cant stop the government from throwing us out. Activists allege that the villagers were not provided enough information on the project before the public hearing. In fact, they say that they were not aware of any public hearing or notices issued to the village panchayat. Many were not aware of the nature of the project and were under the impression that it was a dam. Despite the lack of information and misinformation, most villagers pleaded only for fair compensation rather than raising environmental concerns because many allegedly face harassment by forest officials inside the tiger reserve and want to be relocated, a report says. According to the NWDA, the compensation and rehabilitation plan will be assessed as per the LARR Act, 2013. The government is yet to discuss the compensation amount with the affected villagers. Meanwhile, the project has been stalled due to opposition from environmentalists over its massive impact on forest, wildlife and environment. LCW spoke to Himanshu Thakkar from the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People on October 11, 2019. He said that the KenBetwa project does not have final forest clearance. Additionally, there is no bilateral agreement between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on the interlinking project. In March 2020, the Centre started work on establishing an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers that are generally stalled due to lack of consensus among states. According to a report, the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh will sign an agreement on March 22, 2021, to implement the KenBetwa Project.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for promised compensation

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):

28000

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

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

Land Acquisition Laws, Constitutional Law, Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Sections 4-7 [These sections mandate Social Impact Assessment study before acquisition of land]; Section 27-28 [These sections lay down how compensation can be determined]
Constitution of India, 1950
Article 262 [This article empowers Parliament to legislate and exclude jurisdiction of courts for adjudication of water disputes between states]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Section 7(i) [This section provides the stages of prior environmental clearance process for new projects]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [Forest clearance and approval of the Central government]
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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.

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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

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

W.P. (CIVIL) NO. 512 OF 2002 with W.P. (CIVIL) NO. 668 OF 2002

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Water Development Agency, Ministry of Water Resources, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Panna Parivartan Evam Vikas Manch, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People

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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Updated By

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