As Kovvada Nuclear Plant Nears Completion, Farmers, Fisherfolk Await Rehabilitation

Reported by

Surabhi Bhandari

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

June 4, 2020

June 4, 2020

Updated on

June 4, 2020

Location of Conflict

Chinna Kovvada

Thondangi Mandal

Srikakulam

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Nuclear Power Plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

8000

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

971

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Andhra Pradesh

Sector

Power

The Kovvada nuclear power plant was proposed in 2015. It is a sixgigawatt Light Water Reactor plant in Ranasthalam block of Srikakulam district. It is being set up by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, with the reactors provided by GE Westinghouse. The project spans over 2,079.79 acres in seven villages lining the coast and is estimated to displace about 8,000 people. The displaced communities are largely fishing communities, who rely on the sea for their livelihood, and agriculturalists who grow paddy, coconut, banana and corn, among other crops. In 2015, when land acquisition began, the affected communities protested saying that this would impact their livelihoods and demanded that the social impact assessment be completed before land acquisition. They also demanded more information on the project and the safety precautions that were being taken. While acquisition was being pursued by the government, in March 2017, Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy, after which the project was stuck. However, the state government announced in December 2017 that the land acquisition for the project was successfully completed. This was because 791 acres of the required 2,079 acres are government lands, making the land acquisition process easier. By 2018, the US government claimed that it was emerging out of bankruptcy and would be able to deliver the reactors on time. Despite the land acquisition order being issued in November 2015, the order said that acquisition proceedings will be carried out according to the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. The government issued the notification as per the states policyResettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) for Project Affected Families, 2005. The 2015 acquisition order appears to be unavailable online for review. By September 2019, only 80 per cent of the compensation was paid for the acquired lands. Rehabilitation and compensation packages were provided to 1,850 of 1,892 beneficiaries. Further, while compensation of INR 18 lakh per acre was eventually agreed to be paid, the displaced farmers questioned the disparity in paying INR 48 lakh per acre to the displaced in Amravati. Even though all people living within those 30odd kilometres will be exposed to high doses of radiation, compensation is being given only to those whose lands have been acquired.
As of December 2019, the Environment Impact Assessment report for the project remains incomplete, according to the status on the official online portal for environmental clearances.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for compensation

Demand for promised compensation

Refusal to give up land for the project

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

Total investment involved (in Crores):

300

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, Environmental Laws, Central/State Government Policy

Legislations/Policies Involved

Government of Andhra Pradesh Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy, 2005
Clause 5.1 [When the appropriate government is of the opinion that acquisition of land is likely to displace families, a notification shall be published in the official gazette containing details of the affected zones]; Clause 5.3 [The administrator for Rehabilitation and Resettlement shall undertake a socio-economic survey of all the persons likely to be affected by the project]; Clause 6-A(1) [When a project displaces more than 300 hundred families or requires land situated in Schedule V areas, a Social Impact Assessment shall be carried on by the appropriate government]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 4(1) [Whenever the Government intends to acquire any land for a public purpose, it shall carry out a Social Impact Assessment in the affected area]; Section 4(4) [An EIA study shall be carried out simultaneously with the SIA study]; Section 38(1) [The Collector shall take possession of the land after ensuring that full payment of compensation as well as rehabilitation and resettlement entitlements are made]; Section 38(2) [The Collector shall be responsible for ensuring that the rehabilitation process is fully completed before displacing the affected families]; Section 114 [The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 has been repealed]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Clause 2 [No construction work or preparation of land shall be started on a project without an environmental clearance from the appropriate authority]
Andhra Pradesh Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Rules, 2014
Rule 10 [The SIA must contain an analysis of the impact on both the land to be acquired and the areas that will suffer adverse environmental and social impacts]; Rule 28(4) [The full payment of compensation shall be made expeditiously]
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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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

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:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Public campaign

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Andhra Pradesh

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

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Reviewed By

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