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Yamuna Express way, Uttar Pradesh, India


Jaypee Infratech Limited (JIL) has developed Yamuna Expressway. The road is 165 Km long connecting Noida and Agra. The main objective of this highway is to minimize travel time from Delhi to Agra and facilitate faster uninterrupted movement of passengers and freight traffic. The expressway is intended to serve new regional infrastructure such as the proposed Taj International Airport Hub and various commercial, industrial, institutional, amusement and residential projects that are being developed [1] Thousands of villagers whose land had been acquired for this project gathered in New Delhi to stage protests in August 2010 [2]. Since then they are organizing protest time to time in different places. Farmers are demanding a better compensation for their acquired land by Uttar Pradesh government [3]. Under political pressure, the then government of Uttar Pradesh offered farmers a better compensation. The state government was ready to pay 570 rupees per square feet instead of 436 per square feet earlier.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Yamuna Express way, Uttar Pradesh, India
State or province:Uttar Pradesh
(municipality or city/town)Noida, Mathura, Aligarh, Agra
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

Yamuna Expressway is located in Uttar Pradesh along the Yamuna river between Noida and Agra. First 40 kilometres would be located in District Gautam Budh Nagar, passing Noida, Dhankaur, Mirzapur and Jewar, followed by 20 kilometres in District Aligarh, passing Tappal. The following 90 kilometres are planned to be in District Mathura passing Nohjhil, Mat, Raya and Baldev, followed by approximately 15 kilometres in District Agra, with the expressway ending near Etmadpur, a village in District Agra .

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Level of Investment:2,099,314,000
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2001
Company names or state enterprises:Jaypee Infratech Limited (JIL) from India
Jaypee Group from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Uttar Pradesh
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Political Parties: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Samajbadi Party (SP) Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) Rastriya Lok Dal (RLD)
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Institutional changes
Land demarcation
Negotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Violent targeting of activists
Development of alternatives:There is still no service lane and underpass for the villagers along the e-way. There is no service lane for the local farmers to reach the e-way. Local farmers have to travel long distance to reach the e-way.

There are also a large number of farmers who have not got full compensation for their land [5]

Farmers along the Yamuna Expressway demand toll free movement on the Expressway. The farmers have decided to grant authorities time till Jan 26, 2014 to fulfill their demands to increase compensation by 64 percent [6].

Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Chief Minister (CM) Akhilesh Yadav had said that the land of the farmers would be acquired only after taking their consent, but this was not the case. Compensation issue of farmers was not addressed. [5].

During the farmers agitation, on villages located the border of Mathura-Aligarh, criminal cases were filed against some innocent farmers which have been found to be fake in investigations. It has also been found that force was used on the farmers agitating in support of their demands and later criminal cases were also slapped on them. It has also been found that they (farmers) were subjected to unnecessary harassment. The government has found that farmers agitation was to guard their interests and after detailed deliberations the government has decided to withdraw the cases and orders in this regard have been issued [7].

Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

The Battle for Land: Unaddressed Issues by Avinash Kumar
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Yamuna Expressway
[click to view]

[2] UP farmers protest hits Delhi traffic
[click to view]

[3] UP farmer agitation: Protests spreads to Agra
[click to view]

[4] Farmer agitation: MPs condemn forcible land acquisition in UP
[click to view]

[5] Yamuna Expressway inaugurated amid farmers protest
[click to view]

[7] Yamuna Expressway protests: UP govt withdraws cases against 24
[click to view]

[8] Farmers protest throws Noida traffic out of gear
[click to view]

[9] Yamuna Expressway - Inauguration and Updated facts
[click to view]

[6] Yamuna Expressway: Farmers block traffic, demand toll free movement
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Yamuna Expressway - make it free for farmers says - Bhartiya Kissan Union protest
[click to view]

Farmers Protest the Acquisition of Their Land
[click to view]

Farmers Demonstrate Against Land Acquisitions in Northern India
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014