In a significant ruling on July 2, 2019, the Calcutta High Court observed that the process adopted by the West Bengal government to acquire land for the 1,000-megawatt Turga Pumped Storage Project (TPSP) violated the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA). The court had earlier stayed the project in August 2018. The TPSP hydroelectric power project was proposed in 2017 for the storage and generation of electricity. The project required 292 hectares of forest land. The state Cabinet has already approved the project cost of INR 6,921.90 crore. Of this, INR 5,000 crore will be loaned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, with which the state signed an agreement on November 2, 2018. According to a report, the project could have likely caused the destruction of three lakh trees and put the livelihood of the residents of many nearby villages at stake. Local people-led Ajodhya Buru Bachao Andolan Samhati Mancha organised meetings in 2019 to assemble villagers, environmental activists, lawyers and civil society members to fight for the issue. According to the villagers, they did not give their consent for the project, which is mandatory as per the Forest Rights Act, 2006. At the same time, "in-principal" approval was issued without taking the process into consideration (see the court case attached). The company reportedly has two more projects in the pipeline, slated to come up on Bandu and Kanthaljola rivers. The villager's lawyer, Santanu Chakraborty, said that while they may have won this case, the state is likely to counter appeal and, therefore, they need to be prepared for what's coming next. In July 2019, the state government challenged the high court order before a division bench. The case was being heard as of February 2020.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Complaint against procedural violations, Refusal to give up land for the project
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
District Magistrate, Forest Department, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Forest Rights Act of 2006
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Non-implementation violation of the FRA
Name(s) of Court(s)
Calcutta High Court
WP 20576 (W) of 2018
Nature of Protest
Advocacy (for inclusion in courts), Protests/marches, Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?