Forestland in Jharkhand Diverted for Kathautia Coal Mining Project Without Forest Clearance

Reported by

Nupur Sonar

Published on

September 24, 2019

September 24, 2019

Updated on

September 24, 2019

Location of Conflict

Kathautia

Kajri, Garikhas, Sika, Palhekhurd, Sakhui, Batsara

Palamu

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

5000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

938

ha

Starting Year

2012

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Mining

The Kathautia Coal Mining project, spread across Kathautia, Kajri, Garikhas, Sika, Palhekhurd, Sakhui and Batsara villages in Daltonganj tehsil, was allocated to Usha Martin Limited in 2003. The project received the environmental clearance in 2006 and mining started in 2007. Protests against land acquisition and lack of compensation have been held since 2007, but they intensified from 2012 onwards. The mining company dug pits around the houses of those who refused to give up their land. Villagers also lost vast swathes of agricultural land to the open cast mine. Land owners held numerous demonstrations at the village level and at the mining office and had also filed FIRs complaining about intimidation by the company, land grab and harm caused by blasting. In 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled the mining lease granted to Usha Martin in the wake of the coal scam. The block was allotted to Hindalco through eauction in 2015. That year, the then Commissioner of Palamu, N.K. Mishra, submitted an enquiry report to the Department of Revenue and Land Reforms and the Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Rajbhasha Department, highlighting violations of multiple sections of the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act, 1908, loss of billions in revenue to the state in the sale of land for the coal project and misuse of powers by then Deputy Commissioner Pooja Singhal, then Land Acquisition Officer Uday Kant Pathak and then Circle Officer Alok Kumar to transfer land to Usha Martin. The report stated that the nature of 82 acres of junglejhari (deemed forestland) in the mining area was misrepresented to facilitate the illegal transfer of the land to evade the scanner of the environment ministry. Following this report, a revenue department official was suspended, but no action was taken against the others named in the report. Rajeev Kumar, state secretary of the All India Trade Union Congress, Jharkhand, filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) at the Supreme Court in 2017 alleging irregularities in land acquisition by Usha Martin. His petition alleged acquisition of forestland without forest clearance as well as land acquisition from poor and marginal farmers in violation of the CNT Act, 1908, and the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957. Attesting to Mishra's report, the petition stated that the project has caused mass displacement and that the land acquisition was invalid and was done without paying adequate compensation to the affected people. The petition also stated that the land was transferred through coercion and deceit. According to Kumar, coal mining in the area has polluted the Durgawati river and dried up wells in the vicinity, causing scarcity of potable water. Kumar also mentioned that both concrete and mud houses in the area were destroyed as an impact of blasting. In July 2017, the divisional forest officer of Medinanagar directed Hindalco to stop mining on 344.16 acres of forestland, including the _junglejhari _land as it did not have forest clearance. Three months later, Hindalco filed a writ petition against the order at the Jharkhand high court. On October 13, 2017, the court issued an interim order directing Hindalco to not undertake mining on forestland. The petition is currently being heard. Between March and May 2019, at least 26 land owners affected by the mining project filed writ petitions at the high court, alleging forceful acquisition of land in violation of the CNT Act. The petitions as well as the SLP filed at the Supreme Court are currently being heard. According to a media report, a protest against the project held in February 2019 turned violent and six dozen villagers were injured when they clashed with the police.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Demand for promised compensation

Complaint against procedural violations

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

6800

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

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [This section deals with the restriction on the dereservation of forests or use of forestland for non-forest purpose]
Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act, 1908
Section 49 [This section provides for transfer of occupancy-holding for certain purposes]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 5 [Public hearing for Social Impact Assessment]; Section 27 [This section provides for determination of compensation amount]
Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957
Section 7 [This section provides for power to acquire land or rights in or over land notified under Section 4]
  1. 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.

    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.

  2. 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.

    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.

  3. 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.

    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.

  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

    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.

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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.

    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:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Non-implementation/violation of LARR Act

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jharkhand, Supreme Court of India

Case Number

WP No. 4133/2016 (Jharkhand HC); WP No. 6046/2017 (Jharkhand HC); SLP 22647/2017 (Supreme 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

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Divisional Forest Office, Medinanagar

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:

Usha Martin Limited, Hindalco Industries Limited, All India Trade Union Congress

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:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand 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