Chhattisgarh Village at Demolition Risk for Hindalco Mine, Residents Claim FRA Violation

Reported by

Gurvinder SinghLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

September 2, 2021

Location of Conflict

Banjikhol

Tamnar block

Raigarh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

240

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

886

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

The residents of Banjikhol village in Tamnar block have been spending sleepless nights. Their houses are being demolished to allow coal mining at Gare Palma IV/4 coal block by Hindalco Industries Limited, a private mining company.  The coal block was transferred to Hindalco in 2015 from the previous lessee, Jayaswal Neco Limited, after the Supreme Court cancelled all mining leases in the country and ordered fresh allocations in 2014.  Around 50 families, mostly from tribal communities, have been affected by the mining operations. The residents have refused to vacate their houses alleging lack of adequate compensation and rehabilitation by the local administration. They have even accused government officials of intimidating them. The government, meanwhile, claims the residents to be encroachers. Ashok Marbal, sub divisional magistrate of Gharghoda town in Raigarh, told LCW that the villagers have occupied the land illegally and are unwilling to leave despite being offered increased compensation. He said the administration would soon try to clear the land for mining. Land rights activist and lawyer D.P. Chauhan, along with other activists, have moved court against the forceful evictions after the local administration paid no heed to their demands and failed to decide a suitable compensation package. The families staged a road blockade prior to the lockdown to protest against their eviction. Land activists also allege that Hindalco has not taken the consent of the Gram Sabha (Village Assembly), thus violating the Forest Rights Act, 2006. However, Rakesh Mishra, assistant vicepresident of Human Resources at Hindalco, told LCW that most of the families have already shifted to the colonies that have been built for their rehabilitation and just two families were creating trouble by demanding more money. He added that it is the governments duty to hand over the land to Hindalco for mining.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for more compensation than promised, Refusal to give up land for the project

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

420

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

2015

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, Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. 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]

  2. Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006

    Section 3 [This section deals with forest rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers. The clearance of such developmental projects shall be subject to the condition that the same is recommended by the Gram Sabha]; Section 4 [This section deals with the recognition of, and vesting of, forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]; Section 6 [Authorities to vest forest rights in forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers]

  3. Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

    Section 4: [Preparation of Social Impact Assessment in consultation with the panchayat or municipality]; Section 5: [Public hearing for the Social Impact Assessment]; Section 38 [Collector to ensure that the rehabilitation and resettlement process is complete before taking possession of the land]; Section 41 [This 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 approval from the local authority]; Section 64 [Representation before the collector by anyone who has not accepted the compensation]

  4. Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015

    Section 21 [Provisions of LARR Act, 2013, shall apply to acquisition of land]

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:

Forced evictions/ Dispossession of Land, Non-rehabilitation of displaced people, Non-implementation/violation of the FRA

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Chattisgarh

Case Number

Writ Petition (C) No. 1659 of 2020

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Threats/intimidation, Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Officials allegedly intimidated village residents and threatened them to leave their houses.

Date of Violation

April 26, 2020

Location of Violation

Banjikhol

Nature of Protest

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Mineral Resources Department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Yes

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

According to Ashok Marbal, sub divisional magistrate of Gharghoda town in Raigarh, the residents of Banjikhol have encroached the land and are unwilling to leave despite being given increased compensation. He said the administration would soon try to clear the land for mining.

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Hindalco Industries Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Yes

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Rakesh Mishra, assistant vice-president of Human Resources at Hindalco, told LCW that most of the families have already shifted to the colonies that have been built for their rehabilitation and just two families were creating trouble by demanding more money. He added that it is the government's duty to hand over the land to Hindalco for mining.

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Gurvinder Singh

Reviewed By

Gurvinder Singh

Updated By

Gurvinder Singh

Edited By

Gurvinder SinghLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Contribute Now