Locals protest expansion of lignite mine for NLC's thermal power plant in Tamil Nadu

Reported by

Hariprasad Radhakrishnan

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022

Updated on

June 22, 2022

Location of Conflict

Karivetti

Cuddalore

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Other Kind of Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4842

ha

Starting Year

2018

State

Tamil Nadu

Sector

Mining

On May 20, 2022, residents of Karivetti village in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu staged a protest against the acquisition of land for the expansion of a lignite mine by NLC India. This mine will aid the second expansion of NLC's super critical lignite based thermal power plant located in Neyveli.

NLC India is a public sector unit (PSU) that generates electricity through fossil fuels like coal and lignite, as well as renewable sources like wind and solar. It already runs three mines in Cuddalore district. And has now initiated the process of land acquisition for expanding its third mine. This expansion is set to be carried out in the villages of Karivetti, Karaimedu, Kathazhai, Mummudi Cholagan, Melvalaiyamadevi, and Keezhvalaiyamadevi.

In 2019, the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal refused to set aside the environmental clearance granted to the second expansion of the super critical lignite-based thermal power plant with a capacity of 2x600 MW run by NLC in Cuddalore.

When officials attempted to survey the lands for acquisition, the locals broke out in protest against the move. "We are seeking higher compensation than promised. We also want permanent jobs," said A. Manikandan, a local AIADMK functionary. "Earlier, only the officials used to come to our villages for land acquisition. But now that we are protesting, a few hundred cops are accompanying them. People are threatened and intimidated while acquiring land."

Manikandan said that around 12,000-20,000 acres would be affected because of the project. However, an official figure is not available yet as the survey is still on. "Lands have been acquired since 1956. But, only 1,850 people have got permanent jobs while the rest work only on a contractual basis. People who work temporarily earn as little as Rs 385 per shift. To give people labour, NLC has created farmlands on artificial mounds of debris after destroying agriculture in the region", added Manikandan.

Emails and phone calls by LCW to the NLC Public Relations Department remained unanswered on the date of publishing this conflict.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for employment

Demand for more compensation than promised

Refusal to give up land for the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common and Private

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1150

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

3

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Section 7 (ii) [Projects for mining of minerals to obtain prior environmental clearance from the Central Government] Schedule 1, Item 1(a) [Mining of minerals on land more than 50 hectares is a Category A project that requires mandatory environmental clearance]
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 11 [Appropriate government to publish preliminary notification for acquiring land], Section 15 [Affected persons of land notified under Section 11 may submit objections within 60 days. Collector to give objectors an opportunity to be heard and conduct inquiry where necessary]
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
Section 21 [No person shall establish or operate any industrial plant in an air pollution control area without the consent of State Board]
Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Section 21 [No person shall establish or operate any industrial plant in an air pollution control area without the consent of State Board]
Electricity Act, 2003
Section 7 [Persons carrying out industrial operations and processes shall not discharge, emit, or permit to be discharged or emitted environmental pollutants in excess of the prescribed standard limits]
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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

No

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-consultation with stakeholders

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

National Green Tribunal

Case Number

Appeal No. 13 of 2019 (SZ)

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

The Tribunal held that a Cumulative Impact Assessment is relevant only at a time when the new project is to be established in a place where there are cluster of polluted industries operating. The project area was held to be neither a critically polluted area nor are there any other polluted industries or cluster of industries situated. Hence, there would be no necessity for conducting a Cumulative Impact Assessment of Air Quality. Despite no health impact study being conducted, the tribunal held that merely because there is an increase in cancer or kidney disease in a particular area, there cannot be a nexus between the disease and activity of project proponent unless probably cause is established. However, in view of the Precautionary Principle, the Project Proponent was directed to conduct a health survey. The Project Proponent was also directed to increase CSR fund for the purpose of conducting more medical camps. Regarding the provision of greenbelt, the Project Proponent was directed to use native plants instead of species like eucalyptus. The state Pollution Control Board was directed to monitor the activities of the project proponent and take appropriate action if deficiencies found in the pollution control mechanism.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

No

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:

Tamil Nadu Revenue Department, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

NLC India Ltd

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

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:

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