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RRI suggests land conflicts in India put US$179bn at risk

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RRI suggests land conflicts in India put US$179bn at risk

24 November 2016,15:00

The Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI) and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) published a study in November 2016 which analyses 289 ongoing land-related conflicts in India. These conflicts affect an estimated 3.2m people and put US$179bn of investment at risk.

The interim study is only believed to represent 25-40% of active and substantive land conflicts in India. Therefore, the number of people affected and the level of investment at risk could be significantly higher. Of the 289 conflicts analysed:

  • Around 75% involved common lands (despite perceptions that private land poses a higher risk).
  • About 60% related to land acquisition by government.
  • Almost 50% were associated with infrastructure projects.
  • Over 40% involved forest lands (especially in regions where the customary rights of tribal communities are not recognised).
  • Regions with strong left-wing movements are notably more prone to land conflicts.

The study concludes that conflicts are particularly likely on common lands because they have been treated as state-owned property and customary land rights are rarely respected. RRI and TISS warn that – without greater clarity on land and forest rights – competing claims on land will continue to fuel conflict and put India’s socioeconomic development at risk.

The full report is available here: Land Conflicts in India: An interim analysis

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