Environment

Land conflict affects more than 6.5 million people across India: Report

More than 15 lakh hecates of land were affected by infrastructure projects

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Friday 28 February 2020
Land conflicts permeate across India’s rural and urban areas Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Over 6.5 million people have suffered the impact of land conflicts across India, according to a report released on February 28, 2020 by Land Conflict Watch (LCW), a research institute. More than 3 million of these were affected by infrastructure projects — including road projects and real estate projects— across India.

Land conflicts around infrastructure projects took up the most area as well. 15,62,362.59 ha — an area almost equal to the size of Nagaland — was affected by land conflicts on infrastructure.

The report — based on research conducted in three years — identified 703 ongoing land conflict cases spread across 21 lakh hectares (ha) of land and Rs 13.7 lakh crore “committed, earmarked, and potential” investments tied up in 335 of these conflicts.

The report classified documented land conflicts into six broad sectors: Infrastructure, power, conservation and forestry, land use, mining and industry.

Most number of people affected by real estate

Within the subset of infrastructure projects — which affected 31,13,257.6 people — the highest number of conflict cases were reported in township or real estate projects (68 conflicts), according to the report.

In this subset, the second most number of conflicts were reported in road projects (63), with plantations (51) and protected areas (44) having the third and fourth most conflicts.

Infrastructure projects pertaining to the railways (22) had the second least number of conflicts, while the least were reported in tourism-related projects (19).

Mining affects most people after infrastructure

Approximately 8,52,487.6 people — the second-most number of people — were affected by land conflicts related to mining projects.

The third-most number of people were affected by industry (7,90,264.8), followed by land use (7,65,932.8) and conservation and forestry (6,36,225.6).

The least number were affected from power projects (3,81,124.8).

Sector-wise number of people affected by land conflicts

Approximately 8,52,487.6 people were affected by land conflicts related to mining projects Photo: Land Conflict Watch

Approximately 8,52,487.6 people were affected by land conflicts related to mining projects Photo: Land Conflict Watch

Number of land conflict cases

Of the total documented land conflict cases, the most — 43 per cent or 300 cases — were under infrastructure projects.

The second-most number of cases —15 per cent or 105 cases — were related to conservation and forestry projects.

The third-most number of cases were documented in land use projects, with 14 per cent or 101 cases.

While land conflict issues related to mining affected the second-most number of people, the least number of cases —45 or just 6 per cent — were documented in this sector, according to the report.

The spread of 703 land conflicts across sectors

 

Of the total documented land conflict cases, the most — 43 per cent or 300 cases — were under infrastructure projects Photo: Land Conflict Watch

More than 10,000 affected by land conflict on an average

On an average, mining impacted the highest number of people, above infrastructure. 21,312 people on an average, were affected by land conflict cases related to mining, while infrastructure affected 12,354.

The third-most number of people on an average were affected by industry (11,453), followed by land use (8,606) and conservation and forestry (6,362). The least average of people were affected by power projects (6,050).

On an average, 10,688 people were affected by each land conflict, according to the study.

The averages did not take into account cases that did not have data on the field for which the average was calculated.

Land conflict was defined as "any instance in which two or more parties contest the use of, access to, or control over land and its associated resources", according to the report.

These conflicts permeate across India’s rural and urban areas.

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.