Pauri Bhuyans Oppose Mining in Odisha's Khandadhar Hills Citing Threat to Livelihood

Reported by

Sibasish Ray

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 22, 2016

September 22, 2016

Updated on

September 22, 2016

Location of Conflict

Banei

Sundergarh

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

10000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3000

ha

Starting Year

2005

State

Odisha

Sector

Mining

Khandadhar Hills are located in Sundergarh district. The hill range is home to the Pauri Bhuyan community, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group, as well as to a number of plant and animal species. The stateowned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has been mining iron ore from the other side of the hill range, leading to drying up of perennial streams and rivulets as mining activities tend to drain local water resources ** impacting the lives and livelihoods of the Pauri Bhuyan community in particular. In 2005, POSCO, a Korean giant in the steelmaking industry, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Odisha government to mine iron ore deposits in Khandadhar. POSCO wanted to mine the hills to supply steel for its proposed plant in Jagatsinghpur and also to use it as an export base. **The Pauri Bhuyans have opposed the move for several reasons: besides being ecologically damaging and disruptive to their livelihood, mining in Khandadhar will also violate provisions of the Forest Rights Act, which makes it mandatory to consider the habitation of indigenous tribes before converting their land to a revenue village. Demonstrations and protests have continued since 2005 under the banner of Khandadhar Suraksha Sangram Samiti. Even though the Centre did not agree to POSCO's proposal and the company had to give up the project altogether in 2015, the OMC had signed other pacts with steel makers Adhunik Metaliks Limited and Rexon Strips Limited to supply iron ore for next five years from its Kumitar Pahar mines in Khandadhar. The Pauri Bhuyans claim that the OMC has been gradually capturing land from them to sell it to mining corporations.
As of January 13, 2021, the Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited, a MiniratnaI Central Public Sector Enterprise, has initiated a pact with Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited to expand and upscale mineral exploration activities in the state. Seven iron ore blocks in Khandadhar have been identified, among others, as potential sites for exploration.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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

Total investment involved (in Crores):

52000

Type of investment:

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(1)(h) [Right of settlement and conversion of forest villages to revenue villages]
Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2003
Rule 6(3)(e)(ii) [Consent of the gram sabha for diversion of forestland to be obtained]
F. No. 22040/37/2012-NGO, Scheme for Development of Primitive Vulnerable Tribal Groups, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, April 1, 2015
Annexure 1 [Recognition of the Paudi Bhuyans as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group]
Circular No. 13-1/90- FP, Government of India, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Department of Environment, Forests & Wildlife dated September 18, 1990
II.4 FP (5) [Procedure for conversion of forest villages into revenue villages]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Amendment Rules, 2012
Rule 2A(a) [A list of all habitations within the boundaries of every panchayat to be passed by the gram sabha before conversion of a forest village into a revenue village]
Ministry of Tribal Affairs Guidelines dated July 12, 2012
Clause iii(d) [This section prescribes the state governments to take up conversion of forest villages into revenue villages urgently in a time-bound manner]
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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.

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  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

Yes

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

Claim for recognition of the community's rights under the Forest Rights Act.

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

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:

No

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Odisha Mining Corporation Limited

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:

POSCO (formerly Pohang Iron and Steel Company Limited)

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Loka Sakti Abhijan, Khandadhar Suraksha Sangram Samiti, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti

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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