Families Displaced by Mandal Dam in Jharkhand Oppose Project Resumption

Reported by

Alok

Published on

March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

Updated on

March 30, 2017

Location of Conflict

Barbadih, Kutku

Palamu

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Multipurpose Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

3168

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1000

ha

Starting Year

1972

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Infrastructure

Families who were affected by the Mandal Dam project in Garhwa district are outraged over the state government's plan to resume construction work on the dam. The dam work on the North Koel river was started in 1972 but was halted over various reasons, such as protests, flooding due to the project and environmental concerns, among others. The project was also likely to submerge over 1,000 acres of forestland, including area under the Palamu Tiger Reserve. In 2015, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change announced that the reconstruction of the project will be completed, and in January 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone. But six years later, the work is yet to restart. While some of the damdisplaced families have outrightly opposed the project, others have demanded proper rehabilitation. On August 8, 1997, the sluice gate of the incomplete dam was opened without warning allegedly to drive away protesters. Reportedly, 32 nearby villages were submerged overnight in the resulting flood while 21 people died. Many lost their properties and livestock. On August 16, 1997, enraged over the deaths, a group of Maoists reportedly killed the dam's engineer, Baijnath Mishra. By the year end, nearly 90 per cent of the dam's work was complete. Nearly half of the 1,000 square kilometre Palamu Tiger Reserve is expected to be submerged by the dam. The government is planning to build an embankment to prevent this. On the other hand, the project will help irrigate 124,270 hectares of agricultural land in Bihar and Jharkhand. However, most of the benefits would be available to Aurangabad district in Bihar, which will receive water for 111,800 hectares of parched agricultural land. On March 21, 2017, a team appointed by the Union government, comprising officials from the Central Water Commission and North Koel Irrigation Project, visited the incomplete dam. Punit Minz, coordinator of Khan Khanij Sangh, said that the government is trying to rake up old issues which is akin to rubbing salt over the wounds of the tribespeople. He warned of an agitation if construction work of the dam is restarted.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition against environmental degradation

Demand for better access to common land/resources

Refusal to give up land for the project

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

792

Type of investment:

Investment Made

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

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Schedule [Irrigation projects involving submergence fall under Category A and require prior environmental clearance]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 4(2)(e) [This section states forest rights recognised under this Act in critical wildlife habitats of national parks and sanctuaries may subsequently be modified or resettled, provided that no forest rights holders shall be resettled or have their rights in any manner affected for the purposes of creating inviolate areas for wildlife conservation, except in case the free, informed consent of the Gram Sabha in the areas concerned to the proposed resettlement and to the package has been obtained in writing]
Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972
Section 38O(1)(g) [The Tiger Conservation Authority must ensure that areas in tiger reserves are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable purposes]
Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996
Section 4(i) [The Gram Sabha shall be consulted before any acquisition or resettlement for a development project in Scheduled Areas]
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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:

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Non-implmentation/violation of PESA

Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

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)

High Court of Jharkhand

Case Number

W.P.(PIL) No. 1615 of 2013

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Killing

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

At least 21 tribal people were drowned due to an alleged deliberate opening of floodgates of the dam. In retaliation, a group of Maoists reportedly killed the dam's engineer, Baijnath Mishra.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Protests/marches

Campaigns (grassroots organisations/press releases/media)

Development of a network or collective

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Water Resources Department; Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

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:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Khan Khanij Sangh, Bindrai Institute for Research Study and Action, Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations

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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