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

Reported by

Ashish GaurLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 14, 2021

Location of Conflict

Bagoda

Jalore

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2019

State

Rajasthan

Sector

Infrastructure

The AmritsarJamnagar 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 interstate 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 reevaluation 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.

While the protests are still ongoing, in February 2021, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman, during her budget 202122 speech said that the construction of the project will commence in the financial year.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

25000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

2018

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

  1. Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

    Sections 26, 27, 28 [Sections 26 and 28 mandate the District Level Committee (DLC) rates to be fixed before land acquisition, which was not followed. Section 27 deals with the determination of the amount of compensation by valuing all assets, including those attached to the land, which is related to the market value]

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:

Out of 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

Protests/marches, Public campaign, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

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

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Yes

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

NHAI Project Director Y.B. Singh told LCW that compensation is being provided as per the LARR Act of 2013. He did not comment on the violation alleged by the protesting farmers.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

No

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

Ashish Gaur

Reviewed By

Ashish Gaur

Updated By

Ashish Gaur

Edited By

Ashish GaurLand Conflict Watch
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