Government Rejects Forest Clearance for Metabodeli Iron Ore Mine in Chhattisgarh

Reported by

Riddhi PandeyLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

September 16, 2021

Location of Conflict

Metabodeli

Chaargaon

Kanker

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Iron Ore Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

296

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

57

ha

Starting Year

2013

State

Chhattisgarh

Sector

Mining

The Metabodeli Iron Ore Mine in Kanker district was leased to Neco Jaysawal Industries Limited. The project received environmental clearance in 2009, but the tribespeople vehemently opposed it.  Originally, the Ministry of Mines leased an area of 25 hectares with 0.05 MTPA production capacity. In 2013, the company applied for an expansion of the capacity to 0.20 MTPA. For this, it also applied for acquiring 50 hectares of forestland and an additional seven hectares for the safety zone. In October that year, the environment ministry granted inprinciple Stage1 approval to the forestland diversion.  In 2015, the company received an approval to expand the capacity of the mine. Meanwhile, in the same year, the company again submitted a proposal to further increase the production capacity to 1 MTPA.  The expansion plan and diversion of forestland met with opposition from the residents of the surrounding villages. Until at least 2015, the Naxalites also threatened the project when they announced they would not allow a private mining company to extract the natural resources from the region. In January, they put up banners and pasted pamphlets openly warning the company. They had allegedly set afire equipment for infrastructure development. The Naxalites also discouraged the local youths from taking up labour jobs in the mine. In April, the Naxalites reportedly kidnapped four mining officials, who were later released.  In another violent incident in October, the Naxalites burnt over 10 trucks in the mining area and assaulted the truck drivers and project officials. There was an exchange of firing between the Naxalites and the security forces.  The villagers voiced their concerns over the grim situation in a public hearing on October 5, 2016. They accused the company of not delivering on the rehabilitation package promised when the project started and of neither providing employment as promised. They were concerned about the environmental impact of the mining activities, which would also affect their livelihood. The police had to intervene to pacify the protesters. Subsequently, the mine became operational at the previously approved capacity. In November 2016, the company submitted a new proposal to divert 57 hectares of forestland for the mine closure plan. But the environment ministry rejected the proposal in September 2017.  The villagers also launched protests against the redwater problem due to mining excavations. They claimed that ironrich water running from the mines has severely affected their agricultural fields, leading to a decline in the quality and quantity of their produce. To the relief of the villagers, the company closed the mine in 2020 following the COVID19 lockdown restrictions.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for employment, Opposition against environmental degradation

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

18

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

2020

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

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:

Violation of environmental laws, Non-implementation/violation of the PESA, Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Armed protests , Property damage/arson, Objections as part of official procedures , Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

State Government of Chhattisgarh

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:

Neco Jaysawal Industries Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Naxalites

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Riddhi Pandey

Reviewed By

Riddhi Pandey

Updated By

Riddhi Pandey

Edited By

Riddhi PandeyLand Conflict Watch
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