Post Mortem

Why the expansion work of NH 29 is being done by force?

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/2/2019 1:14:37 PM IST

 It is utterly shocking and surprising to see that the Government of Nagaland had forcibly taken hard step in widening the NH 29 by encroaching into private lands up to the extend of domolishing works starting from Pentecostal Church building at Purana Bazar and other commercial buildings. This was done without taking/giving any notice to the land owners from Purana Bazar to Chumukedima and also without paying any compensation. The project which had been pulled out from the cold storage has greatly affected the land owners.

The predicament that the Government of Nagaland find itself in today is being caught in a situation where the sin of ommission and commission of the past has landed it in an unenviable position and undoing this will prove to be a stiff challenge. The catch 22 position is that as per Article 371A of the Indian Constitution, the traditional land ownership of the individual is protected on one hand while it also gives the Government the right to take possession of any land required for development in the larger interest of the public after obtaining land acquisition, only after which the work or project has to be started. But the present Government of Nagaland is acting above Article 371A. The question that comes up is, under which Act the land between Purana Bazar and Chumukedima can be utilised without the payment of land compensation? On the part of the Government, though it has the perogative to take such decisions, it should also consider the human aspect and therefore the land owners are entitled to get land compensation similar to the compensation of other four lane projects like Dimapur-Kohima and Thahekhu-Zubza railline. Then why the land owners between Purana Bazar and Chumukedima could not be compensated?
Reference may be made to the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court (Kohima Bench) Judgement No. W.P (C) No. 98 (K) 2000, Dated 25/9/2000 against the eviction order passed by the then D.C of Dimapur, wherein it is state (Quote): “The orders impungned in this petition passed by the learned DC, Dimapur, are hereby set aside and squashed.” The judgement order further stated that due compensation be made to the concerned land owners by taking the assessment of the market value of the land without further delay, since the project involves public importance.
With the aforementioned Gauhati High Court Judgement Order, the land owner’s union requested for the payment of land compensation. The National Highway Authority of India vide its letter No. NHAI/PIU/GHY/MC/2005/15 Dated o3/05/2005 addressed to the Revenue Officers of Dimapur and Kohima directed the Government to produce the land acquisition report for preparation of DPR from Dimapur to Kohima. But the Government of Nagaland did not carry out the order and lapsed for 14 years. This amounts to the direct contempt of Court Order as well as an insult to the land owners.
The current issue relates to lands on either side of NH29 beginning from Purana Bazar village upto Chumukedima village. Between the two villages mentioned above falls other villages like Naharbari, Dorgapathar, Padumpukhuri, 3rd mile, Chekiye, Thilixu, Model village, Sovima, and Tenyiphe I village established early as 19th century and others in the mid sixties before Nagaland attained its statehood.
The 39 earlier known as the Dimapur-Imphal Road was constructed in the early 1970s and the above mentioned owned their land through which the NH passes prior to the declaration of the said road NH39 or 29 of the road falls under Road Reservation for NH39. Therefore, we the 87 land owners filed a case to the Honb’le High Court on 09/05/2000 by enclosing copies of land patta issued as early as 1950 (Late Rahani Kanta Bora) as stated above.
Today, the third to fourth descendants inherited the land copies of Jama Bandi/permit with the land owners but no payment of compensation was given to the land owners from Purana Bazar to Chumukedima till 02-05-2019.
The land owners’s office bearers and executive members residing on NH 29 from Purana Bazar to Chumukedima has once again submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Dimapur requesting for the payment of land compensation. Till then, the present aggrieved members which comprises of more than 500 land owners have expressed that the works on the NH29 should be stopped in the interest of the land owners.
Dr. N. Khashito Aye, 
On behalf of the 
aggrieved land owners

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