Rajasthan Farmers Allege Violation of LARR Act in Amristsar-Jamnagar Expressway Land Acquisition

Reported by

Ashish GaurLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

February 8, 2021

Location of Conflict

Bagoda

,

Jalore

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

State

Rajasthan

Sector

Infrastructure

The Amritsar-Jamnagar Expressway was notified in May 2018 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The highway is a mix of greenfield and brownfield stretch passing through Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The expressway holds strategic importance as it will connect the three big refineries of Bathinda, Barmer and Jamnagar. The expressway is part of the Centre's ambitious Bharatmala Pariyojana, aimed at linking industrial corridors through inter-state expressways. According to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the length of the expressway is approximately 1,298 kilometres. As per an official statement of the Rajasthan government, 636 kilometres of it will pass through Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner, Nagaur, Jodhpur, Pali, Sirohi and Jalore districts of the state. Soon after the land acquisition process for the project started, farmers began to agitate. They contended that even though the compensation was being provided as per the norms of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, the District Level Committee (DLC) rate, which the state determines from time to time, was not fixed before the land acquisition process began, as mandated by Sections 26 and 28 of the 2013 Act. They allege that the market rate of the land was not evaluated and that the compensation amount was determined on the basis of past DLC rates fixed by the state. Since the DLC rate is always less than the market rate, the farmers are now demanding four times the market rate for their land.
One of the many protests started in Bagoda in Jalore district, where a large number of peasants started camping to seek higher compensation for their land. In February 2020, Ramesh Dalal, president of Bharat Bhoomi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, began an indefinite strike in Jalore to press the farmers demand for revised compensation. Later, the agitating farmers wrote a letter to President Ramnath Kovind seeking permission to commit euthanasia. No case of death has been reported so far. Dalal said the farmers can earn more income per hectare through agriculture than the compensation offered. He reiterated that the compensation should be determined by following all applicable provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, failing which the agitation would continue. Alternatively, the farmers have demanded a re-evaluation of the expressway and suggested that it should be linked to one of the existing highways in the state so that their agricultural land need not be acquired in the first place. The protest had to be called off in March due to the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country. Sporadic protests had resurfaced in the middle of the pandemic and continue to date, although this resistance has now been overshadowed by the proposed farm laws.

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Private

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

25000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

ha

Starting Year

2019

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Refusal to give up land for the project, Complaint against procedural violations

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Public Works Department, State Revenue Department, National Highways Authority of India

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

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