Polluted Water from Bajrang Iron Ore Mine in Chhattisgarh Destroys Agricultural Fields

Reported by

Riddhi Pandey

Published on

February 1, 2017

February 1, 2017

Updated on

February 1, 2017

Location of Conflict

Hahaladdi village

Chahchad

Kanker

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

528

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

77

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

The residents of Hahaladdi and Chahchad villages have opposed the operations of the Shri Bajrang Iron Ore Mine located in the reserve forest area of Durgkondal tehsil in Kanker district.  Their resistance to mining stems from concerns over its impact on the agricultural land and water resources in the region. In addition to this, a delay in offering compensation and employment by the company has fueled the public's discontentment.  After mining operations began in 2015, the people reported that the polluted water (ironrich water or 'lal paani', as they call it) draining from the mines entered their agricultural fields and affected the quality and quantity of their produce and in the long run, had started to turn the land barren.  In 2015, a delegation of affected villagers submitted a memorandum to demand employment that was promised to them, alongwith the construction of a drain for the dirty water. Additionally, the villagers demanded compensation for loss of access to the forest produce, which was their source of livelihood. But the administration was unresponsive.  In November 2016, the villagers, alongwith political leaders, submitted a memorandum to the district collector demanding to shut down the mine. They accused the company of illegal mining and reiterated their demands for employment and compensation. In December, the protesters held a march and blocked roads to reassert their complaints. Reportedly, the police arrested 155 protesters. Later, a delegation of villagers submitted a memorandum to the governor and threatened to intensify the agitation if the administration did not respond to their demands.  The villagers alleged that the company had employed people from outside villages instead of hiring them. They also claimed that the company did not fulfil many promises related to infrastructural development, afforestation, education and health services.  Meanwhile, the Naxalites in the state have also opposed the mine. Over the years, there have been multiple reports of aggression. In 2015, Naxalites burnt at least 20 vehicles used for mining operations. In another incident in 2017, Naxalites threatened the workers and called for a shutdown of the mine.   Other villages surrounding the mines have also joined the protests. While the company has not accounted for many of these villages as affected, their fields are rapidly degrading because of the dirty water and other mining activities.
In November 2020, the locals again took out a rally to reassert their demands for employment, clean drinking water and other basic amenities. They also raised voices for an environment protection plan and insurance for agricultural produce.   After six years of the start of mining operations, the villagers are still waiting for the government to deliver on their promises of compensation, employment and public infrastructure. In February 2021, a representative of the Gram Sabha visited the district collector to submit a memorandum restating their demands.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand for employment

Demand for promised compensation

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

4

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

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

Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

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]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [Restriction on the use of forestland for non-forest purposes without prior permission of the Union government]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 10B [The state government may grant mining lease in respect of notified minerals with the prior approval of the Union government]
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]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(c) [This section recognises the rights of forest dwellers to ownership and access to forest produce which they have traditionally collected]; Section 3(1)(e) [This section recognises the right of pre-agricultural forest communities to retain their habitation]; Section 3(1)(i) [This section recognises the right of forest dwellers to protect and conserve those resources that they have been traditionally protecting]
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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.

  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.

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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.

  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:

Violation of environmental laws

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-payment of compensation/promised compensation

Delay in compensation

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

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)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

The police arrested 155 protesters who had formed a blockade to raise their demands.

Date of Violation

November 10, 2016

Location of Violation

Hahaladdi village

Nature of Protest

Blockades

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Directorate of Geology and Mining, Chhattisgarh

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:

Shri Bajrang Metallics and Power Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Youth Wing of Indian National Congress

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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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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