Ranchi, Sept. 2: The state government is expected to cut a sorry figure before Jharkhand High Court tomorrow when it presents the status of construction of three educational institutions in Nagri.
The court, while hearing the case on August 6, had granted the state time till September 2 to begin construction of National University for Study and Research in Law (NUSRL), IIM-Ranchi and IIIT campuses at the spot, which advocate general Anil Sinha had promised would happen.
Construction halted on July 4 after Nagri villagers stormed the construction site and demolished the boundary walls that had come up.
The dispute is around ownership of 227 acres in Nagri, including 13 acres for the Ring Road, where the campuses are coming up. Villagers claim the state’s land acquisition procedure followed in 1957-58 was faulty and that they were in possession of the land and paid taxes till 2011.
Meanwhile, a high-level committee, headed by land reforms and revenue minister Mathura Mahto, met the Nagri villagers on August 22 in a last-ditch effort to find a solution to the impasse, but the meeting ended in fiasco. “We are going to tell the court that the state government is yet to decide how to pave the way for construction of the campuses,” said a source.
Mahto said it was now for chief minister Arjun Munda to spell out his government’s stand as he had done his job.
“The state is, however, ready to drop the plan to set up the IIIT campus,” the source added, as the Mahto-led committee had found that around 25 of the 227 acres had not been acquired properly.
The only point that would be working in the government’s favour tomorrow will be the replies it has prepared to a set of questions posed by the court on August 6.
The government, in its affidavit, has said that most of the land in Nagri acquired for the institutions was rain-fed. Also, the per acre productivity was around eight quintal of paddy every year. The court had sought information on the per acre figures to calculate how much of the villagers’ incomes depended on the land.
The state was also asked to disclose whether any portion of the land was irrigated by a well or canal or was it only dependant on rain.
The villagers claim that the land is the only source of income for them.
The court wanted to know the number of original claimants to the land and the number today. This was to decide how land that was sufficient for a family in 1958 could still be adequate in 2012 for the same but much bigger family.
“The administration, however, failed to track the exact number as villagers did not cooperate. It has given a rough figure of 450 families only,” the source added.
The government has spent Rs 2.36 crore on the construction of NUSRL and around Rs 1.5 crore for IIM-R so far.