Chutka Nuclear Power Project in Madhya Pradesh Gets Clearance Without Community Consent

Reported by

Gourav Jaiswal

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

Updated on

September 1, 2016

Location of Conflict

Chutka

Mandla

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Nuclear Power Plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

70000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

407

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Madhya Pradesh

Sector

Power

In 2009, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited decided to establish a 1,400megawatt nuclear power plant in Chutka village in Mandla district. Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) is the nodal agency to execute the project. After the idea for the power plant was proposed, the government allotted 16.5 hectares of land to the power company. The project is estimated to displace 70,000 people in 54 villages in the district. The plant is likely to consume 7,25,76,000 cu.m. of water every year from the reservoir, which will reduce the total water flow of the Narmada river. The people who are likely to be displaced were earlier affected and rehabilitated in Mandla by the Bargi Dam project. Mandla district is covered under the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, where land cannot be acquired without the consent of the gram sabha. The land was allotted to MPPGCL without the consent of the residents or the gram sabha, violating the Forest Rights Act. Village assemblies of Patha, Kundla and Tatighat rejected the government's proposal to set up the nuclear plant, and they also refused the rehabilitation plan to shift them to Potla village. Despite the opposition, in 2015, the state government deposited money into the bank accounts of about 450 projectaffected families. In May 2017, the power plant was granted forest clearance for diversion of 119.46 hectares of forestland by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. In September 2018, when the affected people refused to share their Aadhar details with MPPGCL for compensation as they did not want to part with their land, the company obtained the information through the banks and deposited the compensation amount directly in their accounts. Meanwhile, the residents of the affected villages have been complaining of contaminated water and environmental pollution. Activist Medha Patkar, who is lending her voice to the cause, is quoted in a news report as saying, "Under the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution, the governor has the power to annul any law that goes against tribal interests; the government is doing the opposite." She cited a Supreme Court ruling in the case of the Omkareshwar Dam oustees to argue that "payment of compensation does not mean the affected people have accepted the terms". With the Lok Sabha polls around the corner in 2019, the movement against the power plant became an election issue. People put up posters on trees stating, 'Vote only for the party that cancels the power plant.' In September 2019, labourers belonging to the plant developers came to the villages unannounced and started digging the ground. The residents forced the labourers to flee. The struggle against the plant has continued. In February 2020, the Chutka Parmanu Sangarsh Samiti circulated an appeal against the plant stating their grievances. Earlier, the members of representing organisations such as the Jal, Jangal, Jameen and Jeevan met with MP Governor Lalji Tandon demanding cancellation of the project.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

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

Total investment involved (in Crores):

16550

Type of investment:

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, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Case Laws, Constitutional Law

Legislations/Policies Involved

Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(h)(i) [Consultation with the gram panchayat in Schedule V areas]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Sections 4, 5, 6, 7 [These sections mandate the preparation of a Social Impact Assessment study]; Section 27, 28 [These sections state the process for determining compensation amount for land acquisition]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 6(i) [Gram sabha should decide on forestland and forest rights]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Section 7(i)(II) [All environmental concerns should be addressed before giving Terms of Reference]
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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:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Controversial land acquisition by the government

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

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board; Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India, Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Chutka Parmanu Sangarsh Samiti, Gondwana Gantantra Party, Communist Party of India, Shiksha Adhikar Manch Bhopal, All India Revolutionary Students Organisation, Revolutionary Youth Federation of India, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Womens Rights Network, Chutka Virodhi 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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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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