Jharkhand Government Approves Adani's Thermal Plant, Farmers Allege Violation of LARR Act

Reported by

Alok

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

Updated on

March 30, 2017

Location of Conflict

Motia

Mali, Gangta, Patwa, Sondiha and Gaighat

Godda

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Thermal Power Plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1300

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

425

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Power

In 2016, the Adani Group asked the state government to acquire land to build a 1,600megawatt thermal power plant. The government responded in March 2017 that it had acquired 917 acres, of which 500 acres were acquired from six villages in Godda district. A public hearing on March 5, 2017, was held to discuss the environmental impact of the project on Motia and adjoining villages in the district. Around 3,800 people who would be affected by the project attended the meeting, which turned violent after villagers complaint that they were unhappy with the compensation offered by Adani.  People were brought from outside for the public hearing. Projectaffected people like me who were opposing the project were not allowed to go in for the hearing, Chintamani Sah, one of the petitioners in the case, told LCW. He added that some 400 projectaffected people had written to the district collector, the state government and the governor in 2017 opposing the land acquisition but no action was taken. In the same month, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) staged a protest in Motia to support the demands of the local people. According to JVM chief Babulal Marandi, the Adani project will spread pollution and disease in Godda while Bangladeshis will reap its benefits.  A factfinding report by the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha and three other organisations found several irregularities in the project, such as forceful land acquisition, intimidation and police brutality. According to a media investigation, the state had undermined several safeguards in the LARR Act, 2013, relating to public purpose reasoning, social impact assessment, consent and compensation. In February 2019, the government approved the thermal power plant proposed by Adani Power, making it Indias first standalone power project to get the status and benefits of a Special Economic Zone. In the same month, 16 land owners filed a petition at the High Court of Jharkhand challenging the land acquisition and highlighted several irregularities in the process. According to a media report, the petition asked the court to quash the acquisition of agricultural and common property land and order the return of the acquired land. The petitioners also sought a stay on all construction activity. The petition is currently being heard. As of March 2019, the company received a formal approval for 222.68 hectares of land and an inprincipal approval for 202.32 hectares. According to Jharkhands energy policy, the state is legally entitled to buy 25 per cent of the power generated by power plants within the state. However, according to a report, the government had amended the policy to allow Adani to charge a higher price for this project than other thermal projects in the state.  Ramamurthi Sreedhar, a scientist from the Delhibased nonprofit Environics Trust, challenged in the National Green Tribunal the environmental clearance granted to the project. The petition cites numerous grounds, including the companys decision to switch the water source for the plant from the Chir river to Ganga post clearance. Criminal cases have also been filed against Dalit and tribal farmers who protested the takeover of their land.  In February 2020, AdaniWatch, a non profit investigating Adani projects, launched a factfinding mission. A leader opposing the project said, "The work on the plant is 40 per cent complete. While many petitioners have dropped out, some others are still strongly opposed to the case. With the current government not doing much about it, the fate of the project rests on the small number of determined villagers who are legally battling against the company."

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand to get back acquired land

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

14000

Type of investment:

Investment Made

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Constitutional Law, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Constitution of India, 1950
Article 226 [Powers of high court to issue writs]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 4 [Preparation of Social Impact Assessment study]; Section 27 [Determination of amount of compensation]; Section 31 [Rehabilitation and resettlement award for affected families]; Section 38 [Power to take possession of land to be acquired]; Section 41 [Special provisions for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes]; Section 77 [Payment of compensation]
Electricity Act, 2003
Section 3 [This section deals with power of the Union government to take measures to protect and improve the environment]; Section 5-A [This section provides for appeal to the National Green Tribunal]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Paragraph 2 [Requirements of prior environmental clearance]; Paragraph 8 [Grant or rejection of prior environmental clearance]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4d [Every Gram Sabha shall be competent to safeguard and preserve the traditions and customs of the people, their cultural identity, community resources and customary mode of dispute resolution]; Section 4e [This sub-section provides that every Gram Sabha shall approve of the plans, programmes and projects for social and economic development before such plans, programmes and projects are taken up for implementation]; Section 4i [This sub-section provides that NoC from the Gram Sabha for diversion of resources towards development projects is a must]
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Constitutional inconsistencies between state and Union land laws

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jharkhand

Case Number

WP(C) 4844/2017; Appeal No. 13/2019 (EZ)

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Judicial harassment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Jharkhand Government

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Adani Power Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Jharkhand Vikas Morcha

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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