A file picture of security personnel keeping vigil during the construction of the boundary wall of the law university in Nagri. Telegraph picture
Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday directed the state to again explore the possibility of resolving the land dispute with Nagri settlers so that the three prestigious cradles of law, management and information technology could come up.
The division bench handed the state a new deadline of October 3 and directed it to continue construction work.
The government tabled its report before court on the settlement and negotiations made to resolve the Nagri dispute. An affidavit filed by district land acquisition officer Shailendra Kumar Lal stated that a meeting on August 22 with people made no headway.
Lal said that a Kanke circle officer report initially mentioned 150 rayats were affected by land acquisition, but the number rose subsequently to 430 due to “family expansion”.
Lal also said the estimated cost to construct the boundary wall of National University of Study and Research in Law (NUSRL) was Rs 2.36 crore. The contractor submitted a bill of Rs 2.25 crore of which Rs 1.5 crore had been released and paid by the government.
The IIM-R boundary wall would take an estimated Rs 2.53 crore to build of which Rs 1.75 crore had been released. No cost had been incurred for the IIIT as no land had been allotted to it as yet.
In 2007, Jharkhand Bar Association filed a PIL demanding a law college with a five-year course in the capital to prevent brain drain. Though it was done, the law institute operated out of its temporary campus in BIT-Mesra, spurring the association to file a fresh affidavit in 2012 for a building.
Meanwhile, the court passed a series of directives to the state, which went ahead to acquire 227 acres with the aim to construct three campuses — NUSRL, IIM-Ranchi and IIIT.
But tribal settlers opposed the move tooth and nail, saying those were their agricultural lands on which their livelihood depended. They also demolished the newly erected boundary walls and staged protest rallies. The dispute has acquired political colour now.
Do you think the October 3 deadline is realistic?