IOCL's Pipeline Project Displaces Thousands in Odisha, Affected Families Demand Compensation, Rehabilitation

Reported by

Shazia NigarLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 16, 2020

Location of Conflict

Dhinkia

,

Balitutha

Jagatsinghpur

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Petroleum and Gas

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

8410

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1354

ha

State

Odisha

Sector

Industry

The Paradip-Hyderabad Product Pipeline (PHPL), an initiative of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), will bypass Dhinkia and Balitutha villages in Jagatsinghpur district. The 1,212-kilometre pipeline will be spread across Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, of which approximately 330 kilometres will be laid in Odisha. At the inception of the project in 1998, at least 143 families were displaced from Dhinkia. By 2018, about 1,752 families were displaced from the village as the project expanded. The 143 families have alleged that IOCL has violated the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2006, of the Odisha government as the promises of rehabilitation and compensation to the displaced were not kept. They have demanded that at least one member from each of the displaced families should be provided with employment and remuneration for skill development. Additionally, they have reiterated that those who are yet to receive rehabilitation should be attended to immediately and that the rehabilitation facilities should be further developed. According to a news report, a clarification by IOCL in May 2018 says that of the 143 families, 45 families had benefited from employment opportunities and 95 families had received INR 1.18 crore. Authorities have been unable to contact the remaining three families. Meanwhile, the 1,752 families that were displaced later have alleged increased air and water pollution from the pipeline project. Dhinkia panchayat and neighbouring villages have also been facing acute water crisis which, according to a news report, IOCL tried to abate by providing water tankers. But the local residents say the tankers are inadequate. These families too have demanded employment and opportunities for skill development. According to the same news report, IOCL claims to have provided jobs to 700 of the 1,752 displaced families and skill development trainings to 120 youths. Sarpanch of Dhinkia panchyat Salila Nayak was quoted in a news report as saying: "The villagers are agitated over the high handedness of IOCL authorities and lack of job opportunities; due to pollution, trees and betel vines are adversely affected. She added that the panchayat had adopted a resolution to not allow PHPL to lay its pipeline in the village. In neighbouring Balitutha village, IOCL has acquired approximately 50 acres of farmland. The farmers in the village allege that the land was forcibly acquired and that the compensation offered was inadequate. Bichitra Sena, a lawyer from Jagatsinghpur representing the displaced families, told LCW: Local farmers from Balitutha have alleged that IOCL, with the support of the police, forcibly acquired their land in 2018 and provided inadequate compensation. They had demanded INR 30,000 per decimal of land. After negotiations between the Jagatsinghpur district administration and IOCL, the rate of compensation was settled at INR 19,100 per decimal. But defying the agreement, IOCL later attempted to pay only INR 7,600 to the farmers, which they refused. The oil corporation then agreed to pay the originally decided amount of INR 19,100 per decimal. The residents of both Dhinkia and Balitutha have, however, insisted that they will only accept INR 30,000 per decimal of land as compensation. In June 2020, police arrested 22 farmers who were protesting in Balitutha against forcible land acquisition and inadequate compensation.

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

890

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

1354

ha

Starting Year

1998

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Office of the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Central Range, Cuttack

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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