Iron Mining Project in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada Disregards Gram Sabha Approval, Violates FRA

Reported by

Asha Verma

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

June 10, 2017

June 10, 2017

Updated on

June 10, 2017

Location of Conflict

Alnar

Dantewada

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1077

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

32

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

In April 2017, the residents of Alnar village in Kunakonda tehsil in Dantewada launched an organised opposition to the development of an iron ore mine on 31.55 hectares of protected forestland. The villagers claimed that they had no information about the mining project until the company, Aarti Sponge and Power Limited, started surveying the region.  The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change granted StageII forest clearance to an iron ore mining project in Alnar village on March 22, 2017. According to news reports, the local people claimed that the administration did not seek the consent of the Gram Sabha for diverting the forestland. This violates the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, as the village is listed as a Schedule V area.  Meanwhile, according to the environmental clearance report, the administration had conducted a public hearing on September 30, 2016, at Van Kashtagar in Dantewada. The proceedings, submitted to the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board, states that around 150 people attended the meeting and 91 signed the attendance register. However, it does not mention anyone from Alnar village.  According to a 2019 news report, the Dantewada administration has not settled the rights claims of villagers under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. In September 2016, the district administration had submitted a letter to the environment ministry stating that the villagers had said no to the title. However, the people claimed they were unaware of giving any such consent. Subsequently, in May 2017, the Alnar Gram Panchayat passed a resolution against the mining project. The village residents submitted letters to the president, chief justice of India, justice of the Chhattisgarh high court, the state governor and the chairperson of the National Scheduled Tribes Commission, requesting action on the issue. They also filed complaints with the district and block administrations. However, the government allegedly did not make an attempt to address the grievances.  A local journalist, also a resident of Alnar, told LCW that the villagers did not receive any notices about the public hearing and that it was likely that the people present in the hearing were from other villages. He further informed LCW that the forestland, allocated for mining, was used by tribespeople for their livelihood activities and that they would continue to oppose the mine as it affected their livelihood.  According to a press release, the company expects to start mining operations by the end of 2021. 

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

150

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

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, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(i) [Consultation with Gram Sabha mandatory before undertaking any land acquisition or development project]
Chhattisgarh Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Social Impact Assessment, Consent and Public Hearing) Rules, 2016
Rule 8 [The Gram Sabha shall be consulted before initiating the process of land acquisition in Scheduled Areas]; Rule 9 [The objections raised by the Gram Sabha should be heard by the Collector and disposed before acquisition of the land]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 41 [In case of acquisition of land in any Scheduled Area, the prior consent of the Gram Sabha shall be obtained]
Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Para 2 [Project that requires prior environmental clearance listed in Schedule, which includes mining]; Para 7 III. [Public consultation is the third stage in the prior environmental clearance process for new projects and includes public hearing and making necessary changes in the Environment Impact Assessment report]
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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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    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

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:

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Yes

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

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Level Environment Impact Assesment Authority, Dantewada District Administration

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:

Aarti Sponge and Power Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

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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