Village Residents Demand Compensation, Employment for Chhal Opencast Coal Mine in Chhattisgarh

Reported by

Riddhi Pandey

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

January 21, 2017

January 21, 2017

Updated on

January 21, 2017

Location of Conflict

Lat village

Raigarh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

106

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

419

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

In Dharamjaigarh tehsil in Raigarh district, people have been demanding copensation and employment as promised by the government for the Chhal Opencast Coal Mine and its expansion. The mine, run by South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SELC) is only one of the several projects in Chhattisgarh, and it has been fret with problems of delayed rehabilitation and unfulfilled promises similar to mines like Gevra and Dipka.  The mining operations commenced after the environment ministry granted Environmental Clearance (EC) to the project in June 2006.  In 2007, the company applied to expand the mining to 641 hectares of land, which would displace at least 550 Project Affected Persons (PAPs). In April 2010, the ministry granted the EC for expansion. However, according to official documents, SECL had completed the rehabilitation and compensation process for only 329 PAPs while it was ongoing for the remaining 158 PAPs.  The mining operations have reportedly severely impacted the land, livelihood and culture of the tribespeople. One of the affected persons had also filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh high court against the SELC policy, according to which only families that gave up at least two acres of land were eligible for employment. Another petition was filed by a woman, who challened the policy that restricted women from getting employment.  On July 23, 2015, the high court took note of the gender discrimination and directed SELC to grant employment to women too. Subsequently, on August 26, 2016, the court directed SELC to discard the twoacre rule as well and complete the compensation process.  By October 2016, SELC had still not granted employment to at least 22 of the affected families. The villagers claimed that this count also included 11 families who complied with the SELC policy. According to a news article, due to improper disposal, the coal waste has contaminated the river, which is a source of livelihood for the people. In 2014, SELC was booked for flouting the green norms and overproducing coal. The company is believed to have started the compensation process. In August 2018, the Minister of Mines announced that the process of providing employment to the PAPs was ongoing.   Meanwhile, in 2017, SELC had submitted an application to expand the mines to approximately 1,343 hectares of land. For this, a public hearing was conducted on March 12, 2021. According to the EIA report, the expansion would affect 727 additional families. Meanwhile, the project is yet to receive an Environmental Clearance.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for employment

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for promised compensation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

71

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

Central/State Government Policy, Environmental Laws, Constitutional Law, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957
Section 6 [When coal is likely to be obtained from land in a locality, the competent shall pay in advance compensation for all damage likely to be caused]
Madhya Pradesh Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 1991
Clause 3(ga) [One candidate from families whose entire agricultural or residential land has been acquired shall be entitled to employment]
Mines Act, 1952
Section 46 [No woman shall be employed in part of a mine which is below ground]
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
Section 24 [No person shall knowingly cause any polluting matter to directly or indirectly enter any stream]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Clause 10(ii) [It shall be mandatory for the management of every project to submit a half-yearly compliance report with the terms of the Environment Clearance]
Constitution of India, 1950
Article 15(1) [Prohibits discrimination by the state on grounds of sex]
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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-rehabilitation of displaced people

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Chhattisgarh

Case Number

W.P.S. No. 432 of 2011

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

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

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Government of Chhattisgarh

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:

South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), Jindal Group

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

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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Reviewed By

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