Farmers Oppose Limestone Mining by Ultratech Cement near Pendravan Reservoir in Chhattisgarh

Reported by

Asha Verma

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

June 18, 2017

June 18, 2017

Updated on

June 18, 2017

Location of Conflict

Mohrenga, Math, Murra and Kharora villages in Tilda tehsil

Raipur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Limestone Mining

Limestone Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

689

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

Pendravan, also known as Pandit Lakhan Lal Mishra Reservoir, constructed in 1909, is the primary source of water and irrigation for over 12 villages in Tilda tehsil in Raipur district. The reservoir, located near the Mohrenga and Khaulidabri protected forests, is a nesting location for many migratory birds during winters.  In 2012, UltraTech Cement received a lease for open cast limestone mining in the area where the reservoir is located. A total of 689 hectares of land was allotted to the company, of which 658.451 hectares was private land. The Water Resources Department issued a conditional No Objection Certificate (NOC). People and politicians have been protesting since fearing the impact of mining on the reservoir.  On August 18, 2015, the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board organised a public hearing for the environmental clearance (EC) of the project. Villagers and elected representatives used the platform to raise their concerns about the decreasing irrigation capacity of the reservoir due to mining. In August 2016, the project received the EC.  However, following objections raised in the Legislative Assembly, the agriculture and water resources minister decided to cancel the NOC, according to a news report.  On January 3, 2017, the Water Resource Department issued a revised NOC for the mining project located 50 metres from the water body.  The NOC stated that the reservoir adjoining the mine would not be affected by mining activities. However, activists argued that mining could damage the walls of the dam resulting in seepage, which could cause loss of water as, according to the Environment Impact Assessment, the open cast mining would be fully mechanised with the use of detonators and deep hole blasting technique.  Following the issuance of the NOC, farmers from over 12 villages came together to protest under the banner of Pendravan Jalashay Bachao Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and demanded cancellation of the NOC. They had the support of multiple political parties. Protesters even formed a human chain near the dam and organised multiple protests in Raipur to draw the medias attention.   On March 3, 2017, the state cancelled the NOC to pacify the farmers. But UltraTech Cement filed a petition with the state high court. On May 19, 2017, the high court granted interim relief to UltraTech while stating that a public interest litigation was filed on behalf of the farmers. At present, the matter of the mining lease is pending before the high court.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Complaint against procedural violations

Refusal to give up land for the project

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

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

106

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

Environmental Laws, Land Acquisition Laws, Other, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Provisions of the 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]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 2(1)(b)(iii) [The provisions of the Act relating to compensation and rehabilitation will apply to land acquired for mining activities]; Section 27 [Determination of the compensation payable to interested persons]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule 1, Item 1(a) [Mining of minerals on land more than 50 hectares is a Category A project that requires mandatory environmental clearance]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 10B [The state government may grant mining lease in respect of notified minerals with previous approval of the Union government]
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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

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-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Violation of environmental laws

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 Chhattisgarh

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Development of a network or collective

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department, Directorate of Geology and Mining

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Ultratech Cement Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Janabhivyakti, Chhattisgarh Janta Congress, MLA Bhupesh Baghel of Indian National Congress, Devji Patel of Bhartiya Janta Party

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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