Coal Mining threatens Displaced Villagers in Patrapalli, Odisha

Reported by

Sandeep Pattnaik

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

December 11, 2017

December 11, 2017

Updated on

December 11, 2017

Location of Conflict

Patrapali

Jharsuguda

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1363

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

701

ha

Starting Year

2010

State

Odisha

Sector

Mining

The Hirakud Dam project is the oldest of its kind in India. This dam was built across the Mahanadi river. This is the first major multipurpose river valley project in postindependent India and also one of its longest. The government had promised all basic amenities to the displaced but these promises have only remained as promises. Since 2012, the displaced families have been seeking their rights over forest under both individual forest rights (IFR) and community forest rights (CFR) but their claims still remain unprocessed. Now, they are living in Patrapali village of Jharsuguda, district of Odisha. The conflict started when the administration ignored their claims on the pretext that the land claimed by the villagers under Forest Right Act is reserved for coal mining for Mahanadi Coal field Company. The villagers had strongly objected to this proposal despite which the district administration forwarded to the Union Government the gram sabha resolutions that unanimously approved of diversion of forestland for the projects. It is reported that the entire proceedings of gram sabhas appear to be forged to divert forestland for mining in Odisha, according to information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The affected people have submitted a grievance petition to the Secretary, MoTA in 2015. They have also moved the district collector and the RDC several times over the issue and submitted their grievance petitions. On 17th January 2020, the villagers of Patrapalli staged a Jungle Suraksha Satyagraha, to register their protest against tree felling in the area.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Complaint against procedural violations

Refusal to give up land for the project

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

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, Other, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957
Section 4 [Notification to be published by the Central government to prospect for coal]; Section 8 [Objection to acquisition to be made in writing within 30 days to competent authority]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3 (2) [The facilities for which the government can divert forests involving tree felling does not include mining]; Section 4(5) [Forest dwellers cannot be evicted or removed from forest land till recognition of forest rights and verification procedure is complete]; Section 4 (2)(e) [Free informed consent of the gram sabha for resettlement and the compensation package in writing]; Section 4 (8) [Forest rights recognised and vested in forest dwellers who had been displaced due to a development intervention without land compensation]; Section 3(1) [This section enlists the rights of forest-dwelling Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, which include right to hold and live on the forestland, right to protect any community forest resource traditionally used, protected and conserved, and the right to rehabilitation in case of displacement]; Section 5 [The holders of forest rights and the gram sabha have the power and duty to protect the forests and wildlife, and preserve their cultural heritage and traditional practices]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2(ii) [Authorities or state government can pass orders for use of forest land for non-forest purposes only with the prior approval of the Central government]; Section 2(iii) [Assigning of forest land to private parties or authority or corporation only to be done with prior approval of the Central government]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Para 2 [Projects that require prior environmental clearance are listed in schedule which includes mining], Para 7 III. [Public consultation is the third stage in the prior environmental clearance process for new projects and includes public hearing and making necessary changes in the Environment Impact Assessment report]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3 (1)(v) [Wrongful dispossession a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe from their land or premises or interference with the enjoyment of their rights over any land is an offence]; Section 3 (1) (xv) [Forcing a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe out of their village, house, or other place of residence is an offence]
Colliery Control Rules, 2004
Rule 8 [Central government has the power to prohibit mining]; Rule 9 [Requirement of prior permission to open a coal mine]
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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

Yes

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

The villagers had strongly objected to the proposal of the mining project and tree felling during the consultation process with the gram sabha as per the FRA.

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

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:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Objections as part of official procedures

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Blockades

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Coal, Government of India

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Mahanadi Coal Field Limited; Neyveli Lignite Corporation India Ltd.

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Hindalco Industries Ltd

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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