JOIN THE LCW
COMMUNITY

Exclusive monthly policy briefs, stories from the ground, quarterly analytics report, curated expert talks, merchandise and much more. Support our work!

Sign up today

Public Demands Cancellation of Residential Project at Jorhat Bus Terminus in Assam

Reported by

East Street Journal Asia

Legal Review by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

April 22, 2021

March 11, 2023

Edited on

April 22, 2021

State

Assam

Sector

Infrastructure

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

2

ha

Starting Year

2020

Location of Conflict

Bohotia Gaon

Kotoki Pukhuri area, Sarusarai mouza

Jorhat

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)

Land Conflict Summary

The Jorhat Public Bus Terminus at Kotoki Pukhuri was inaugurated in 2004 by Late Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. More than five acres of land used for the terminus originally belonged to the Assam State Transport Corporation, which was later allotted to the Jorhat Development Authority (JDA). Initially, a tender was floated for the construction and development of commercial and residential projects at the terminus but was closed following public protests.
On June 30, 2020, another tender was floated to construct a multi-storied commercial-cum-residential apartment building at the bus terminus. The tender was allotted to Jainco Mechanical Construction, a private company in Jorhat. An agreement to this end was signed between the JDA and Jainco on September 14.
RTI activists and advocates have alleged anomalies in the awarding of contract to a private builder. They have claimed violations in the land allotment process, alleging that neither party to the contract took the prior approval of the director, Town and Country Planning, Assam. They fear that the commercial and residential project might lead to the shutdown of the bus terminus. Demanding retention of the terminus, All Assam Students’ Union (Jorhat unit) leader Jul Khound said the terminus was ‘very necessary’ for reducing the growing traffic congestion in the town.
RTI activist Rintu Goswami told the media that the plot of land allotted for the bus terminus cannot be used for purposes other than without the approval of the state government. Further, pointing at clauses of the agreement, Goswami said that of the residential flats, only 20 per cent would be owned by the JDA and the rest by Jainco. These residential flats are entitled to people eligible for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme, a housing scheme for economically weaker sections of the society with no permanent homes. “There is no mention of the PMAY flats in the agreement signed between JDA and Jainco,” Goswami alleged. 
In December, protesters from various local organisations -- All Assam Students' Union (Jorhat Unit), Raijor Dal, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Bir Lachit Sena, Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Sadou Asom Kalita Chatra Sanstha, Anusuchita Jati Chatra Sanstha and Anusuchita Jati Mahila Sanmilani -- protested against the project, forming a human chain at the bus terminus. Saying that the project was not in public interest, the protesters shouted slogans and demanded a probe. They also sent a memorandum to the chief minister seeking cancellation of the project.
Following the protests, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A. Korati set up a four-member committee to investigate the alleged ‘anomalies’ by the JDA.

Fact Sheet

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

1) Seeking intervention of the prime minister, chief minister and the speaker of the State Assembly to stop the project 2) Removal of Jorhat Development Authority Chairperson Prasanta Jyoti Goswami

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Details of sources (names of accused, names and numbers of any lawyers, names of any police officers contacted)

Status of Project

Original Project Deadline

Whether the Project has been Delayed

Significance of Land to Land Owners/Users

Whether the project was stalled due to land conflict

Source/Reference

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Legal Data

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Assam Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2010
Section 3: [Land grabbing is unlawful]
Assam Town and Country Planning Act, 1959
Section 9 [Preparation of Master Plan by director in consultation with local authorities]; Section 13 [After the Plan has been published, construction of new building is not permitted, except with written permission of the Authority]; Section 61 [Any officer or member of the Authority who abuses his powers under the Act is said to have committed an offence under the Act]
  1. 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.

    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.

  2. 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.

    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.

  3. 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.

    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.

  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

    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.

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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.

    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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Gauhati High Court

Case Number

Case No. AB/3698/2020; Linked Case: AB/3706/2020

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

The question before the court was whether the petitioner has created a breach of trust as under Section 61 of the Assam Town and Country Planning Act, 1959. The court held that the process is yet to be completed and that as of now, the case diary does not reflect such a breach. Interim pre-arrest bail was granted.

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

Additional Information

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Jorhat Development Authority (JDA), Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Assam

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW tried to reach out to Nitesh Jain, one of the directors of Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited, and other officials, but no valid contact details were found.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

LCW tried to reach out to Nitesh Jain, one of the directors of Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited, and other officials, but no valid contact details were found.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Yes

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

All Assam Students' Union (Jorhat Unit); Raijor Dal; Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti; Bir Lachit Sena; Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti; Sadou Asom Kalita Chatra Sanstha; Anusuchita Jati Chatra Sanstha; Anusuchita Jati Mahila Sanmilani

Information on the use of criminal law

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Resources

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Images

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Video

The Jorhat Public Bus Terminus at Kotoki Pukhuri was inaugurated in 2004 by Late Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. More than five acres of land used for the terminus originally belonged to the Assam State Transport Corporation, which was later allotted to the Jorhat Development Authority (JDA). Initially, a tender was floated for the construction and development of commercial and residential projects at the terminus but was closed following public protests.
On June 30, 2020, another tender was floated to construct a multi-storied commercial-cum-residential apartment building at the bus terminus. The tender was allotted to Jainco Mechanical Construction, a private company in Jorhat. An agreement to this end was signed between the JDA and Jainco on September 14.
RTI activists and advocates have alleged anomalies in the awarding of contract to a private builder. They have claimed violations in the land allotment process, alleging that neither party to the contract took the prior approval of the director, Town and Country Planning, Assam. They fear that the commercial and residential project might lead to the shutdown of the bus terminus. Demanding retention of the terminus, All Assam Students’ Union (Jorhat unit) leader Jul Khound said the terminus was ‘very necessary’ for reducing the growing traffic congestion in the town.
RTI activist Rintu Goswami told the media that the plot of land allotted for the bus terminus cannot be used for purposes other than without the approval of the state government. Further, pointing at clauses of the agreement, Goswami said that of the residential flats, only 20 per cent would be owned by the JDA and the rest by Jainco. These residential flats are entitled to people eligible for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme, a housing scheme for economically weaker sections of the society with no permanent homes. “There is no mention of the PMAY flats in the agreement signed between JDA and Jainco,” Goswami alleged. 
In December, protesters from various local organisations -- All Assam Students' Union (Jorhat Unit), Raijor Dal, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Bir Lachit Sena, Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti, Sadou Asom Kalita Chatra Sanstha, Anusuchita Jati Chatra Sanstha and Anusuchita Jati Mahila Sanmilani -- protested against the project, forming a human chain at the bus terminus. Saying that the project was not in public interest, the protesters shouted slogans and demanded a probe. They also sent a memorandum to the chief minister seeking cancellation of the project.
Following the protests, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A. Korati set up a four-member committee to investigate the alleged ‘anomalies’ by the JDA.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

1) Seeking intervention of the prime minister, chief minister and the speaker of the State Assembly to stop the project 2) Removal of Jorhat Development Authority Chairperson Prasanta Jyoti Goswami

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

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

Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Assam Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 2010
Section 3: [Land grabbing is unlawful]
Assam Town and Country Planning Act, 1959
Section 9 [Preparation of Master Plan by director in consultation with local authorities]; Section 13 [After the Plan has been published, construction of new building is not permitted, except with written permission of the Authority]; Section 61 [Any officer or member of the Authority who abuses his powers under the Act is said to have committed an offence under the Act]
  1. 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.

    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.

  2. 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.

    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.

  3. 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.

    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.

  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

    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.

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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.

    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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Gauhati High Court

Case Number

Case No. AB/3698/2020; Linked Case: AB/3706/2020

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

The question before the court was whether the petitioner has created a breach of trust as under Section 61 of the Assam Town and Country Planning Act, 1959. The court held that the process is yet to be completed and that as of now, the case diary does not reflect such a breach. Interim pre-arrest bail was granted.

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

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Jorhat Development Authority (JDA), Directorate of Town and Country Planning, Assam

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW tried to reach out to Hitesh Dev Sharma, secretary to the Government of Assam (Urban Development Department), but could not speak to him as the telephone number mentioned on the official website was invalid and no email address was mentioned.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

LCW tried to reach out to Nitesh Jain, one of the directors of Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited, and other officials, but no valid contact details were found.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

LCW tried to reach out to Nitesh Jain, one of the directors of Jainco Mechanical Construction Private Limited, and other officials, but no valid contact details were found.

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

All Assam Students' Union (Jorhat Unit); Raijor Dal; Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti; Bir Lachit Sena; Chatra Mukti Sangram Samiti; Sadou Asom Kalita Chatra Sanstha; Anusuchita Jati Chatra Sanstha; Anusuchita Jati Mahila Sanmilani

Resources Related to Conflict

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

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch

Other Land Conflicts in Assam

cross
Not a member yet?
Sign up now