Farmers in Dantewada, Bastar Unite against Bacheli-Nagarnar Slurry Pipeline Project in Chhattisgarh

Reported by

Riddhi Pandey

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

Updated on

October 14, 2016

Location of Conflict

Kirandul

Chokawada (Nagarnar)

Bastar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Infrastructure

Slurry pipeline

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

381

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Infrastructure

Since 2015, farmers in Dantewada and Bastar districts had been opposing the construction of the BacheliNagarnar slurry pipeline project fearing loss of their cultivable lands.  The project, a brainchild of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) Limited, would pass through 46 villages. The pipeline will spread across approximately 138 kilometres from Kirandul to Chokawada (Nagarnar) and will have a capacity of 15 million tonnes per annum.  Over the years, the affected farmers have registered their discontent through demonstrations, protests and written complaints.  On April 29, 2015, during a public hearing in Dantewada, the people questioned the NMDC on the compensation package and jobs for the unemployed, reported a local daily. On July 4, during a public hearing organised in Tokapal block, representatives of 34 villages voiced their concerns about the impact of the project on their land and livelihood. They also accused the authorities of not following the prescribed procedure for conducting public hearings.  In February 2016, the villagers attempted to obstruct the teams from conducting surveys in six villages in Dantewada.  The people were worried about the authorities' decision to acquire common land under the Right of Use/Right of Way permit for development of a 30metrelong corridor for the pipeline instead of acquiring private land.  In May 2016, a newspaper reported that the Bastar divisional commissioner had directed the NMDC to account for the interests of the affected people and asked the company to focus on development work under corporate social responsibility.  Since then, the protesters have approached the authorities many times to raise their concerns and demands. According to news report, on April 23, 2017, representatives of 23 villages organised a meeting in Delimili to put forward their demands. They demanded royalty in place of compensation for the projectaffected families, a payment of INR 1 crore every year to each Gram Sabha for development work and employment opportunities for the unemployed in Bastar.  On October 9, 2017, protesters from 28 villages gathered outside the NMDC office in Kirandul town under the banner of Samyukta Panchayat Jan Sangharsh Samiti and demanded to stop the construction of the pipeline immediately. However, despite public protests, on February 8, 2018, the project received Stage 1 approval for forest clearance with specified conditions.  Over the years, the protesters have aligned themselves with the widespread discontent caused by mining activities of NMDC and other companies. In March 2019, during a public rally, they claimed that the company had fraudulently taken approvals from the Gram Sabhas.   In June 2019, the people protested with traditional weapons in front of the district administration and NDMC officials. They claimed that the Gram Sabhas had not consented to the project without which the company could not start the survey work. In Mavlibhatta village, the tribal families also alleged that this violated the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act.  According to a newspaper report, the NMDC officials have tried to clarify that the project would not result in the loss of fertile lands and stated that most villages had already consented to the project.  On November 20, 2020, the environment ministry granted StageII forest clearance to the project following the compliance report submitted by the company. It paved the way for the construction of the pipeline to start from July 2021.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for employment

Demand for more compensation than promised

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

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):

4000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Central/State Government Policy, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2007
Paragraph 4 [Social Impact Assessment to be conducted where more than 200 families in hilly areas are affected]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(i) [The Gram Sabha shall be consulted before any land is acquired in Scheduled Areas for development projects]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 26 [Criteria to be considered by District Collector while assessing market value includes the market value, average sale price for similar type of land in the vicinity and consented amount of compensation paid in acquisition by private companies]; Section 27 read with Schedule I [Determination of compensation amount to be paid]; Section 28 [Factors to be considered while determining compensation include market value, cost of relocation of business or residence and damage caused due to the land acquisition]; Section 25 [District Collector must make an award within 12 months of the declaration of land acquisition, else the acquisition proceedings will lapse]; Section 41 [In case of acquisition of land in any Scheduled Area, the prior consent of the Gram Sabha shall be obtained]
Chhattisgarh Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Social Impact Assessment, Consent and Public Hearing) Rules, 2016
Rule 8 [The Gram Sabha shall be consulted before initiating the process of land acquisition in Scheduled Areas]; Rule 9 [The objections raised by the Gram Sabha should be heard by District Collector and disposed of before acquisition of the land]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Paragraph 2 [Requirement of prior environmental clearance]; Paragraph 7 [Stages of prior environmental clearance, including public consultation]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3 [This section provides for forest rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers; Sub-section (2) proviso (ii) states that the clearance of such developmental projects shall be subject to the condition that the same is recommended by the Gram Sabha]; Section 4(d) [This provision states that 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 4(i) [This section makes it mandatory to consult the Gram Sabha or the panchayat at the appropriate level before acquiring any land in the Scheduled Areas for development projects and before resettling or rehabilitating persons affected by such projects in the Scheduled Areas]
Section 2: [Forestland cannot be used for any non-forest purpose without prior approval of the Union government]
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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

Violation of free prior informed consent

Violation of environmental laws

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Blockades

Objections as part of official procedures

Armed protests

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Steel, Government of Chhattisgarh

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:

NMDC Limited

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:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
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