Machakata Coal Mining Project in Odisha to Displace 9 Villages, Disrupt Livelihood

Reported by

Sibasish Ray

Published on

October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

Updated on

October 14, 2016

Location of Conflict

Chhendipada

Angul

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

16800

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

3035

ha

Starting Year

2007

State

Odisha

Sector

Mining

Between 1993 and 2010, 214 coal blocks were allocated by the Central government for exploration. Machakata coal block was one among them, which was awarded to Mahaguj Collieries Limited, a joint venture between Maharashtra Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited. Adani Group's flagship company Adani Enterprises was granted rights to develop and operate this coal block. The Machakata coal block has a reserve of 1,244 million tonnes. On August 24, 2014, the Supreme Court cancelled all coal block allotments, which were done during the NDA and UPA regimes. The Machakata block was among them. But Adani did not pay heed to the decision. A public hearing was conducted on September 4, 2014, as part of an environmental clearance process, which was stalled by the people opposing the project on account of it seeking to displace almost nine villages and disrupting the source of their livelihoods. They further pointed out the procedural violation of ignoring the Supreme's court judgment regarding the allocation of the Machakata block. In 2020, the coal ministry initiated the process of auctioning coal blocks across five states for commercial mining. Of the 41 coal blocks, nine are located in Odisha and of the blocks on offer is Machhakata. Daniel Ekka, tahsildar of Chhendipada, Angul, told LCW: "The public hearing of 2014 is now outdated. The fresh proposal for coal allocation has been submitted to the Ministry of Coal. There has been no public notification of the fresh proposal. There is a possibility of agitation, however, it cannot be confirmed until there is a public notification regarding this matter."

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

60000

Type of investment:

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

Central/State Government Policy, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Other, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 (iii) [Assigning of forestland to private parties or authority or corporation only to be done with prior approval of the Central government]; Section 2(ii) [Authorities or state government can pass orders for use of forestland for non-forest purposes only with the prior approval of the Central government]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 5 [The grant for prospecting licences or mining leases is subject to parameters as prescribed and to the mining plan duly approved by Central government]; Section 11A [This provision specifies the procedure in respect of coal or lignite for granting reconnaissance permit, prospecting licence or mining lease]; Section 19 [Prospecting licences and mining leases to be void if in contravention of the Act]; Section 24A(2) [Holder of reconnaissance permit, prospecting licence or mining lease shall be liable to pay compensation to the occupier of the surface of the land granted for any loss or damage]
Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015
Section 4 (2) [Central government may conduct auction by competitive bidding for granting reconnaissance permit, prospecting licence or mining lease]; Section 21 [Provisions of LARR Act, 2013, shall apply for acquisition of land]
Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act, 1974
Section 4 [The Central government may take necessary measures for the conservation of coal and development of coal mines]; Section 5 [The owner of the coal mine has the duty to take steps necessary for the conservation of coal and the development of coal mines]
Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957
Section 4 [Notification to be published by the Central government to prospect for coal]; Section 8 [Objection to acquisition to be made in writing within 30 days to competent authority]
National Mineral Policy, 2019
Para 4.4 [Exploration to be incentivised to attract private investors within the scope of auction regime]; Para 6.2 [Adequate and effective legal and institutional framework promoting for augmenting existing reserves and encouraging optimum extraction]; Para 6.10 [Employing a comprehensive Sustainable Development Framework which will ensure that environmental, economic and social considerations are integrated in the decision-making process]; Para 6.12 (a) [Relief and rehabilitation of displaced and affected persons]
Rule 5 [This provision enlists the prerequisites for auction of mining lease]
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]
Rule 42 [This provision enlists certain restrictions placed on the grant of prospecting licence and mining lease]; Rule 44 [This provision enlists the conditions that the prospecting licence shall be subjected to]; Rule 45 [This provision enlists the conditions that the mining lease shall be subjected to]
Rule 8 [Central government has the power to prohibit mining]; Rule 9 [Requirement of prior permission to open a coal mine]
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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:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Supreme Court of India

Case Number

WRIT PETITION (CRL.) NO. 120 OF 2012

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Boycott of official procedures/non-participation in official processes

Protests/marches

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Odisha State Polution Control Board, Angul District Administration

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Mahaguj Collieries Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Daniel Ekka, tahsildar of Chhendipada, Angul, told LCW: "The public hearing of 2014 is now outdated. The fresh proposal for coal allocation has been submitted to the Ministry of Coal, Government of India. There has been no public notification of the fresh proposal. There is a possibility of agitation, however, but it cannot be confirmed until there is a public notification regarding this matter."

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Adani Group company

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Loka Sakti Abhijan, Samajwadi Party

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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Documented By

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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