Adivasis in Odisha Protest Land Acquisition for Highway, Allege Violation of PESA

Reported by

Sanghamitra DubeyLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 2, 2021

Location of Conflict

Dandiapali Village, Lathikata


Reason or Cause of Conflict




People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






At least nine hectares of land have been acquired from Dandiapali village in Sundergarh district for the expansion of National Highway 143 between Birmitrapur and Rourkela. The tribal population of the village, under the banner of Sundergarh Zilla PESA Coordination Committee, organised a protest march led by coordinator Santosh Oram. They allege that the land has been acquired without the approval of the gram sabha. This area is a Schedule V district and, therefore, land acquisition without consent violates the provisions of the PESA Act,1996. Interestingly, the gram sabha members were unaware of the whole procedure. Meanwhile, an official of the National Highways Authority of India said that "the protest is unjustified, and the work will be completed within 30 months". This response exacerbated the matter. In 2018, the construction of the highway, which had so far suffered delays due to ongoing protests and lack of enviornmental clearances, was fasttracked by Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for road transport and highways. In 2020, it was announced that the underconstruction 126kilometre stretch of the highway that was due to be completed by the end of the year had been delayed due to the COVID19 pandemic and would now be completed by March 2021.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Region Classification


Type of Land


Type of Common Land


Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. The Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996

    Section 4(E) [Prior approval of gram sabha required for projects for social and economic development in Scheduled areas]

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

    Section 105 [Provisions of this Act not to apply for land acquired as per the National Highways Act of 1956]

  3. The National Highways Act, 1956

    Section 3A [Notification regarding the intention of the government to acquire land to be published in a local newspaper of vernacular language]

  4. Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006

    Section 2(ii) [Projects for expansion of highways involving land acquisition to obtain prior environmental clearance]

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:

Non-implementation/violation of the PESA, Violation of LARR Act

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


Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)

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?

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

Sanghamitra Dubey

Reviewed By

Sanghamitra Dubey

Updated By

Sanghamitra Dubey

Edited By

Sanghamitra DubeyLand Conflict Watch

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