Punjab and Haryana High Court have made it clear that the Haryana Government cannot deny the employment claims of those whose land was acquired to set up a 2,800 MW nuclear power plant in Gorakhpur Village simply because it was an agency of the Center — Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL).
Facts of the case
The HC has advised the Haryana Government to reconsider the case for providing work to those families whose land was acquired for the project and to take a final decision within three months. “There is no denying that the land of the petitioners was acquired by the NPCIL, a central government agency through the Haryana Government, when notifications under Sections 4, 6 and 7 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 were released by the Haryana Power Department on July 29, 2010, July 25, 2011 and November 29, 2011. It is evident from that factual position that the land was acquired with the due approval and consent of the Government of Haryana, “HC said.
Earlier, the Haryana government rejected the claim on the ground that the provision of jobs by the state government was not feasible due to the acquisition of land for the project (NPCIL). Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill of the HC passed these orders while disposing of a bunch of petitions filed by Pramila and some other residents of the village of Gorakhpur who had acquired land for the nuclear power plant. Assistant to the petitioners, Sandeep Goyat told HC that earlier, HC had asked the state government to accept the argument to provide employment to the family members of the residents of Gorakhpur Village, whose land had been acquired for the power project. However, their assertion was denied by the State authorities on the grounds that it was a project of the Central Government.
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Goyat argued that although denying the claims, the state government failed to take into account the provisions of the state policy of 9 November 2010, which states that, wherever 75% or more of the landowner’s land in a revenue estate, subject to a minimum of two acres, is acquired for other infrastructure projects, thus having a major effect on the maintenance of the land, one of the dependents is contingent on the maintenance of the land.
In the hearing of the case, the HC has now set a time limit of three months for the State to take a fresh decision on the matter. The state government acquired about 1,500 acres of land from Gorakhpur, Kayalheri and Badopal farmers for the nuclear power project. Most of the land was in the village of Gorakhpur. As many as 847 families of these three villages had been impacted by the acquisition of land as their land had been purchased to set up the project. The Rs 23,502 crore project of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCL), inaugurated on 1 January 2014 by former PM Manmohan Singh, will be the country’s largest nuclear power plant with an output target of 2,800 MW. The construction of the project is continuing.
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This post is written by Kosha Doshi. More on 99888-17966.