The residents of Fakirpur, Titerikata, Bishnupur and Sanasubalia villages in Boudh district have been protesting since 2017 against a grain-based distillery, along with a cogeneration power plant (which recovers waste heat from power generation), proposed by Boudh Distillery Pvt. Ltd, a spirits company based in the district. The construction of the distillery in Titerikata requires 1,200 cubic metres of water to be taken from the Mahanadi river through a four-kilometre-long pipeline. The proposed pipeline will pass through the four villages, spread across 3.34 acres of revenue land, locally known as gramya jungle, including 1.47 acres of forestland in the above mentioned villages. The residents claim that it will affect their livelihood as they have been dependent on this land for collecting minor forest produce. On December 28, 2017, despite strong protests by the village residents, the district administration and Boudh Distillery, escorted by some 200 police personnel, forcefully dug out the forestland with the help of earth movers and started work on the pipeline. The villagers filed a petition in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) the same month, alleging that the forestland was being used for non-forestry purpose without the permission of the Forest Department, violating the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. Moreover, the residents of Bishnupur had applied for individual forest rights that are yet to be recognised, thus violating the Forest Rights Act. While hearing the petition on December 1, 2018, the NGT issued notices to Boudh Distillery Pvt. Ltd as well as to the divisional forest officer, superintendent of police, District Collector of Boudh, chief secretary and forest secretary of the state government, and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to inspect the unit in question and verify the allegations of the villagers and submit a report. The NGT also ordered immediate halt to the construction of the pipeline. On February 12, 2019, the NGT ordered Boudh Distillery to get the necessary permission from the forest department and said that the interim order of the tribunal cancelling the lease of the distillery would stay in place until permission was granted.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Complaint against procedural violations, Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources, Demand for legal recognition of land rights
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
District Administration of Boudh
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
M/s. Boudh Distillery Pvt. Ltd
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Land Acquisition Laws, Forest Rights Act of 2006
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Non-implementation / violation of the FRA
Name(s) of Court(s)
National Green Tribunal
Original Application 5/2018
Nature of Protest
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?