Gond Tribespeople Dead Against Expansion of Bailadila Deposit-10 Iron Mine in Chhattisgarh

Reported by

Riddhi Pandey

Published on

January 27, 2017

January 27, 2017

Updated on

January 27, 2017

Location of Conflict

Bacheli Township

Chalkipara, Peddapara, Akash Nagar, Timinar and Nerli villages

Dantewada

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

309

ha

Starting Year

2014

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

The Bailadila range is the hub of iron ore mining in Chhattisgarh. Currently, there are 14 identified iron ore deposits, of which one is Deposit10 located in the Bacheli Complex in Dantewada district. The National Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDC) operates this mine spread over an area of 309.34 hectares.  In 2014, NDMC, Indias largest iron ore producer, proposed to increase the capacity of the mine from the existing 4.2 metric tonne per annum (MTPA) to 6 MTPA. Consequently, protests erupted after the residents of over 20 villages came together to oppose the expansion.  The villagers became fearful of the impact of the mining activities on their agricultural lands, water bodies and forest area, on which they depend for their livelihood. Reportedly, the region is also of religious significance to the majority Gond tribe living in the area.   The concerns of the villagers also stem from their experience of mining operations in the surrounding villages. They have alleged that layers of dust settle on agricultural fields and iron ore particles flow into the streams, which affects the soil productivity and contaminates the water bodies. They also claim that the agricultural land is turning infertile due to the red water problem. According to local reports, the tribespeople worry the expansion of the iron ore mine would worsen the water and air pollution and land degradation. The lease area demarcated for the expansion also falls under the Bailadila Reserve Forest, which endangers the rich biodiversity of the region.  In December 2015, the villagers united under the banner of Sanyukt Panchayat Jan Sangharsh Samiti to protest against the public hearing that was scheduled to be organised by the nodal office of the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB). A local newspaper reported that the villagers did not receive any communication about the public hearing and that it was being organised at a considerable distance from the affected villages to prevent largescale participation. Following this, the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan issued a letter demanding cancellation of the public hearing citing discrepancies and misinformation in the EIA report for the proposed expansion. Finally on December 29, the district collector issued a notice to cancel the meeting after continued protests.  On November 15, 2016, the administration once again organised a public hearing for the project. This time too, the villagers claimed that they did not get any prior information about the hearing and identified procedural discrepancies in violation of the PESA Act, 1996. They reiterated their concerns about the expansion plan and persistent problems related to pollution and the impact on lands and livelihoods.  Subsequently, the village representatives submitted a petition to the CECB and held a meeting with the district collector on November 16 to voice their discontent and demand action. Amidst the opposition, the NMDC published the final Environmental Impact Assessment report in February 2017. According to the report, an action plan was formulated based on the issues raised during the public hearing held in November 2016.  The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change granted environmental clearance to the project on July 7, 2017. In December 2019, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy extended the mining lease of four deposits, including Deposit10, for another 20 years. The residents of different villages in the Bailadila range, meanwhile, continue to protest.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

385.44

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 4 [No person shall undertake any mining activities without obtaining a mining lease]; Section 4A [The state government may terminate a mining lease if it is expedited, in the interest of prevention of pollution, public health, etc]
Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017
Section 35 [Every holder of a mining lease shall take all possible precautions for undertaking sustainable mining]; Section 40 [The holder of a mining lease shall take all possible measures to keep air pollution within the permissible limits]; Section 41 [Every holder of the mining lease shall take all possible precautions to prevent the discharge of toxic liquids into water bodies, groundwater and usable land]; Section 44 [Every holder of a mining lease shall take all possible measures to cause least damage to the flora of the area]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Clause 2 [Clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change shall be required for expansion of existing mining projects]; Clause 7(III) [Prior to granting a environmental clearance, a public hearing shall be conducted to ascertain the views of the affected persons who have a stake in the environmental impacts of a project]; Appendix IV(3) [Notice of the date, time and venue of the public hearing shall be issued prominently in all public places]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(j) [The prior recommendation of the Gram Sabha is mandatory for the grant of mining leases in Scheduled Areas]
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  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

    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.

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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:

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Government of Chhattisgarh, Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Mineral Development Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

National Mineral Development Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, Sanyukt Panchayat Jan Sangharsh Samiti

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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