Residents Demand Fair Compensation for Pathankot-Mandi Four-Lane Project in Himachal Pradesh

Reported by

Meenakshi Kapoor

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 2, 2020

January 2, 2020

Updated on

January 2, 2020

Location of Conflict

Nurpur

Kangra

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Roads

Stalled acquisition of land

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

3781

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Himachal Pradesh

Sector

Infrastructure

In 2017, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways announced a fourlane project for the PathankotMandi National Highway154. The National Highway Authority (NHAI) planned to expand the width of the highway to 45metre. The strategically important road would reduce the distance from Pathankot to Mandi from 219kilometre to 171kilometre and improve the traffic.  In March 2018, the NHAI issued a notification for the land acquisition under clause 3 (D) of the National Highways Act. Following this, the acquisition process began in the Nurpur subdivision of Kangra district. However, in June 2019, NHAI discontinued this process due to high circle rates of land in the district.  In September 2019, the NHAI decided to change the width of the proposed highway from 45 metres to 33 metres and planned to utilise the old tracks to reduce the cost of land to be acquired. According to a news report, it also decided to change the alignment of the proposed project to minimise environmental degradation, excessive hillcutting, and landslides on the highway route after the state government raised concerns over it. The pause in the land acquisition process reportedly left the projectaffected residents in a state of uncertainty as they had already taken loans for rehabilitation and even began setting up houses and businesses in other locations. In October 2019, the Four Lane Lok Body (FLLB) submitted a memorandum demanding clarity on the project's future. Following this, on October 29, the President of FLLB, Rajesh Pathania, sat on an indefinite hunger strike after receiving no response on the project's status. He called off the strike on November 14 after the intervention by the District Collector of Kangra, who convinced the Kangra Central Cooperative Bank Ltd to defer the recovery of the loan, and the NHAI agreed to pay 12 per cent interest on the compensation amount.  However, in March 2020, the president of FLLB claimed that the assurance to defer the loan was not fulfilled.  By September, the project started again in accordance with the revised alignment. As per the officially communicated information, the project will acquire land from 31 revenue mohals for project's phase I. It would affect 3,781 persons.  In November 2020, protests rekindled against acquisition rates announced by the Competent Authority for Land Acquisition (CACA) for two of the mohals. The representatives of FourLane Sangarsh Samiti alleged CACA of ignoring the provisions under the LARR Act 2013. According to them, the DC of Kangra had approved the rate of Rs 7,000 per square metre in 201819. However, CACA only awarded Rs 1,680 per square metre in the new announcement.  The projectaffected residents rejected the awards. On February 26, 2021, the protestors staged a dharna against the acquisition awards offered. They again submitted a memorandum demanding adherence to the approved circle rates as the current rates were insufficient for rehabilitation. The president of the Samiti also appealed to the Chief Justice of Himachal High Court for intervention to protect the interests of the residents. They have accused CACA of flouting provisions. On March 13, 2021, protestors met the Chief Minister to discuss their concerns. As per a news report, the protestors plan to intensify the protests and threaten direct action if the state government does not address their grievances.  Meanwhile, the projectaffected persons have also raised concerns over the partial acquisition of their lands as it would render the remaining property useless. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for more compensation than promised

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Private

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

8000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

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    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:

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Himachal Pradesh High Court

Case Number

CWPIL No.268 of 2017

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Hunger strike

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Refusal of compensation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National Highways Authority of India

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?

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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Reviewed By

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