Adani's Mundra Port in Gujarat gets Government's Nod, Mangroves, Livelihoods at Risk

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 5, 2021

Location of Conflict

Mundra

Kutch

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Thermal Power Plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

30000

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1400

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Gujarat

Sector

Power

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/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for better access to common land/resources, Complaint against procedural violations, Opposition against environmental degradation

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

6000

Type of investment:

Investment Made

Year of Estimation

2017

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980

    Section 2: [Restriction on use of forest land for non forest purposes]

  2. 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]

  3. Special Economic Zones Act, 2005

    Section 4: [Establishment of a Special Economic Zone]

  4. 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]

  5. Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

    Section 24: [Prohibits the use of streams for disposal of polluting matter]

  6. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

    Section 22: [Prohibits emissions beyond levels exceeding those determined by the State Pollution Control Board]

  7. 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

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

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

Case Number

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?

No

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

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch
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