In January 2013, around 3,000 villagers, including fisherfolk, salt pan workers and farmers from about 10 villages surrounding Mundra, held a 50kilometre rally from Bhadreshwar to the district headquarters in Bhuj protesting against the power projects of the Tata Group, the Adani group and OPG Power, besides the Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ). Earlier in 2008, the fishing community of Kutch, in a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Supreme Court, pointed out the violations at the Mundra Port. In April 2009, more than 5,000 fisherfolk across the Kutch region threatened to boycott the Lok Sabha polls (parliamentary elections). The protesters say OPG Power and the Adani group's Kutch Power Generation Limited have severely curtailed their access to the sea, besides destroying their fish yield, as a consequence of outlet channels from the plant sites. The state government allotted 14,305 acres of land in Kutch to Adani at prices ranging from INR 1 to INR 32 per square metre. MPSEZ by Adani has been under fire since then for violation of environmental regulations. The SEZ has reportedly violated the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification of 1991 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. The environmental costs incurred by this SEZ are deforestation of mangrove forests and other trees, loss of migratory birds and deterioration of creeks and scrubs. The state forest department report claims that around 340 square kilometres of mangroves are in danger. The farmers of Dhrub village have lost their agricultural lands due to the SEZ operations. Compensation provided by Adani was reportedly meagre as compared to the actual land price. Fisherfolk have been the worst affected as they have been displaced without any compensation. In 2012, a committee headed by environmentalist Sunita Narain concluded that Adani had violated several green regulations and caused largescale damage to the environment. It recommended that the company should be made to pay either INR 200 crore or 1 per cent of the project cost, whichever is higher, to set up an Environment Restoration Fund, which would go towards repairing the damage caused to the ecosystem. In 2015, the environment ministry claimed that the penalty is illegal and that violations would be dealt with later. In June 2017, the Gujarat State Human Rights Commission sought a report from the commissioner of fisheries and from the Kutch district collector over a complaint by a fisherman. In August 2019, the Gujarat high court asked the environment ministry to submit a report by September 13 on compliance of its earlier direction to come up with an environmental conservation plan by Adani Port in response to a petition filed by the fisherfolk. Interestingly, in November 2019, Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited won the first ever national CSR award for creating a sustainable impact on incomes and overall living standards of fisherfolk in Gujarat. In February 2020, the environment ministry's expert appraisal committee went back on the norms it had laid down and accepted the Adani Groups plea for exemption from conducting a public hearing on the Mundra port waterfront development project, much to the concern of the 30,000odd people from the fishing community in the area. Both the fisherfolk's protest, and the port's operations continue.
Demand for better access to common land/resources, Complaint against procedural violations, Opposition against environmental degradation
Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Environmental Laws, Other
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2: [Restriction on use of forest land for non forest purposes]
Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011
Section 7(i): [This would be a CRZ-I area due to the presence of mangroves]; Section 8: [Restriction on any construction within a CRZ-I]
Special Economic Zones Act, 2005
Section 4: [Establishment of a Special Economic Zone]
Coastal Regulation Zone Act, 1991
Section 6(1): [Classifies mangroves as a CRZ-I area and no new construction to be permitted within 500 metres of the High Tide Line]
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
Section 24: [Prohibits the use of streams for disposal of polluting matter]
Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Section 22: [Prohibits emissions beyond levels exceeding those determined by the State Pollution Control Board]
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Section 15: [Penalty for failure of compliance with the Act and the rules, orders and directions passed under it, to include fine of up to one lakh rupees and an additional five thousand rupees daily subsequently while the contravention continues]
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
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
High Court of Gujarat; Supreme Court of India
WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO. 21 of 2013
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change; Gujarat Pollution Control Board
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:
Adani Power Limited
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Macchimaar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan, Mundra Hit Rakshak Manch, Namati Centre for Policy Research Environment Justice Program