BALCO Mainpat Bauxite Mine in Chhattisgarh Shut Down; Compensation, Rehabilitation Remain Incomplete

Reported by

Siddhant Kalra

Published on

July 12, 2017

July 12, 2017

Updated on

July 12, 2017

Location of Conflict

Kudaridih

Kesra and Sapnadar villages

Surguja

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Bauxite Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

538

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

639

ha

Starting Year

1992

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

In Chhattisgarh, projectaffected people of BALCO Mainpat Bauxite Mines continue to wait for the promised resettlement and rehabilitation even after the mine has been shut down.   Bauxite mining in Mainpat tehsil in Surguja district (erstwhile Madhya Pradesh) began in 1993 under Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO). About 639 hectares of land were leased to the company. This rendered small farms unsuitable for cultivation, affected the environment adversely and displaced hundreds of families, mainly from the Manjhi, Kanwar and Pahadi Korwa tribes.  Officially, the project displaced 95 families in three villages. Reportedly, those who were compensated received only INR 12,000 per acre as opposed to INR 50,000 per acre that was promised. With the creation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, BALCO's ownership was bought over by Sterlite group, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources. The new management failed to deliver on the compensation promise.  In 2007, Jagardev Yadav, a villager, was reportedly beaten up and jailed for protesting against the lack of rehabilitation by Sterlite. The same year, another resident, Somnath Manjhi, had reported that extractive activities had rendered the soil useless, which led to diseases and posed health hazards to the residents. In October 2007, the Expert Appraisal Committee of the environment ministry rejected BALCOs proposal for extending the environmental clearance citing poor performance in conserving the biodiversity and ensuring rehabilitation. Subsequently, a court case was filed against the company for exceeding the capacity grant. However, despite complaints of rehabilitation and environmental violations filed with government bodies, the mine received both forest clearance in 2008 and a lease extension for another 10 years in 2012.  In 2016, BALCO proposed to expand the production capacity in Mainpat from 0.75 to 2.25 million tonnes per annum. To secure local consent for expansion, a public hearing was held on April 4 that year, which concluded unsuccessfully. The villagers protested against the government's failure to grant compensation and employment for the displacement that first took place in 1993. They also cited procedural violations, discrepancies in rehabilitation policy and environmental and public health concerns to oppose the expansion plans.  Attorney Sanjay Ambasht noted that the public hearing was void without BALCOs fulfilment of a prior Chhattisgarh high court order, which had directed BALCO to fulfil 12 conditions on environmental, human rights and rural development concerns. The company had failed to heed the order and had proceeded with the public hearing anyway. Currently, BALCO cannot proceed with the expansion of Mainpat mine.  In March 2019, BALCO delisted the expansion proposal, and in September, the company decided to temporarily shut down mining activities from October 10. But the issues of resettlement and rehabilitation for the families displaced is 1993 are yet to be addressed.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for employment

Demand for promised compensation

Demand for rehabilitation

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

11

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, Land Acquisition Laws, Constitutional Law, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Constitution of India, 1950
Article 21 [Right to life]; Article 19(1)(b) [Right to assemble peacefully]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [Restriction on the use of forestland for non-forest purposes]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(e)(i) [Programmes and projects for social and economic development to be approved by the Gram Sabha]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Paragraph 2 [Prior environmental clearance required by appropriate authority for new projects falling in the Schedule]; Section 7 [Environment Impact Assessment to be in accordance with the procedure laid in Section 7]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 10B [ The state government may grant mining lease in respect of notified minerals with prior approval of the Union government]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(1)(v) [Offence of wrongful dispossession of a member of Scheduled Tribe from their land or premises]; Section 3(1)(xv) [Offence of forcing a member of Scheduled Tribe to leave their house, village or other place of residence]
Section 3 [Rights of forest-dwelling Schedule Tribes, including entitlement over land]
Section 41 [The section lays down stricter and special provisions for land acquisition from Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, including the requirement to make detailed development plan and to gain approvals from the local authority]
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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:

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Violation of environmental laws

Delay in compensation

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

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:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Displacement

Physical attack

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Jagardev Yadav, a villager, was reportedly beaten up and jailed for protesting against the lack of rehabilitation by Sterlite for acquiring his land.

Date of Violation

July 31, 2007

Location of Violation

Mainpat

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Chhattisgarh State 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:

Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), Vedanta Resources

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Mainpat Bachao 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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