10 things you should know about Land conflicts in India

While the land-related conflict in India has long posed a threat, according to a new report, 75.94 per cent of all existing land-related conflicts have been resolved, according to a new report.

Land-related conflicts

The report titled Land Locked: Investments and Lives in Land Conflicts, published by Land Conflict Watch (LCW), a Delhi-based research agency recorded a total of 607 ongoing land conflicts. These conflicts cover 15,15,295.30 hectares (ha) of land and affect approximately 63,77,080 people. Conflicts have been reported in all 28 states and 4 of the 8 union territories. Of the country’s 766 districts, 323 have at least one ongoing conflict.

About a quarter of the total land-related conflicts occurred in the Fifth Schedule districts, according to the report released on December 12, 2022. The Fifth Schedule designates Scheduled Areas in which the interests of Scheduled Tribes will be protected.

Important points

  • The largest number of conflicts is concentrated in the infrastructure sector (almost 34% of all conflicts), followed by the electricity sector (16%), forestry/conservation (14%), industry (11%) and mining (8 %). In addition to the usual investment-focused sectors such as infrastructure and industries, forestry and conservation schemes have emerged as a major arena for ongoing land conflicts.
  • “In 34% of cases, communities fight to retain or protect their rights to common lands and resources. In 28% of cases, they demand legal recognition of their territorial rights. In 28% of the cases, the communities refuse to cede their lands for the project as a whole, and in 26% of the cases, they resist the projects for reasons of environmental degradation. In 23% of the projects, people are still waiting for rehabilitation. In several cases, more than a lawsuit exists.”
  • “In most conflicts, the land provided multiple livelihoods and economic services to communities and had cultural or religious significance. Most of the land in conflict was used for agriculture (seen in 42% of conflicts), closely followed by residential use (which appears in 37% of conflicts).
  • In about 28% of conflicts, communities use the land to extract other natural resources, such as aquatic crops or minor forest products, or for fishing. In 9% of the cases, they depend on bodies of water and in 7% of the cases they depend on land for cattle grazing.
  • About 41 per cent of the conflicts occur exclusively over communal land, while 35 per cent are spread between communal and private land and 23 per cent are exclusively over private land.
  • “Within the conflicts that involve communal lands, the highest proportion (37.31 per cent) occurs on non-forested common lands; 23.42% in forest commons, while 36.66% of conflicts involve both forest and non-forest commons,” the report states.
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416 projects were embroiled in land disputes

Conflicts over communal lands comprise the largest share of closed conflicts: they constitute 38% of all closed conflicts. However, conflicts over private land have the highest rate of closure.

The report further states, A total of 416 projects, with investments of at least Rs 22,61,544.01 crore, were embroiled in land disputes in the infrastructure, industry, energy and mining sectors. In every three out of four stalled projects, documented evidence shows that work was halted due to land disputes.

In addition, nine projects worth ₹16,472.46 crore have been scrapped entirely, many due to land conflicts, which are still alive in these cases, because people are now demanding the return of the land that was taken from them. above for projects.

In 71 cases, projects with investments worth at least ₹1,30,000.72 crore have been completed, but land conflicts around them continue. In 216 cases, projects with investments worth ₹16,66,102.08 crore are currently underway, and protests around land deals continue.

Apart from these projects involved in ongoing conflicts, 23 more projects with investments worth at least Rs 1,51,688.93 crore have been scrapped in the past six years and the conflicts have become dormant.

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