Sikkim Residents Oppose Rabongla-Singtam Road Extension Project Fearing Threat to Safety, Property

Reported by

Emilo Yanthan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Updated on

March 24, 2022

Location of Conflict

Town

Rabongla and Singtam towns

East Sikkim

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2021

State

Sikkim

Sector

Infrastructure

A two-lane road expansion project, stretching from Rabongla to Singtam, has been opposed by the residents of these localities as they fear the construction work poses a threat to their safety as well as to their properties.

Following public complaints, Chief Minister P.S. Golay set up a joint team headed by state Tourism Minister and Roads and Bridges Advisor G.T. Dhungel, who visited the project site in May 2021. He was accompanied by officials from the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDL), who is undertaking the expansion work.

State Tourism Minister B.S. Panth informed the media that NHIDL displayed ‘sheer negligence’ in not constructing protective walls and a proper drainage system to minimise risks and inconvenience to the public. 

Earlier, at a meeting between Chief Secretary S.C. Gupta and NHIDL officials on November 26, 2020, the company's Executive Director M.S. Sodhi stated that about INR 6,577 crore would be allocated for road constructions in and around Sikkim, including the Singtam-Rabongla project. The project is expected to be completed by April 2022.

In the meeting, Gupta had proposed to expedite the processes related to rehabilitation and compensation as well as tree cutting required for the project.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to cancel the project

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to build protective walls and suitable drainage line

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land), Forest

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

National Highways Act, 1956
Section 3A [Union government to declare intention to acquire land by way of notification under this Act]; Section 3C [Objections by aggrieved persons to proposed land acquisition to be made to competent authority in writing. Competent Authority to give objectors a chance to be heard]; Section 3B-3H [Provisions relating to procedure for land acquisition under this Act]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [No state government to direct forestland to be used for non-forest purpose without prior approval of Union government]
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  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

Yes

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

The locals filed objections to the project with South District Collector Bharani Kumar.

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Media-based activism/alternative media

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

District administration, South Sikkim, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW emailed Roads and Bridges Advisor G.T. Dhungel twice but failed to get any response as of March 22, 2022.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

LCW sent email to the Executive Director of NHIDCL, Sikkim, but failed to get any response as of March 22, 2022.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

LCW sent email to the Executive Director of NHIDCL, Sikkim, but failed to get any response as of March 22, 2022.

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

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