NTPC Violates FRA in Jharkhand by Starting Coal Mining in Pakri Barwadih

Reported by

Nupur Sonar

Published on

September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019

Updated on

September 5, 2019

Location of Conflict

Barkagaon

Keredari

Hazaribagh

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Coal Mining

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

41976

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

1636

ha

Starting Year

2004

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Mining

Protests against the loss of fertile, multicrop land have raged on in Barkagaon block in Hazaribagh district since 2004, when the Pakri Barwadih coal block was allocated to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). The main site is located on forestland and private agricultural land spread across 23 villages. The affected families have protested against nonconsultation with them while acquiring land for the project. The land acquisition took place under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957. This Act contains no provision to consult affected communities or seek free, prior and informed consent of the affected people.  In 2009, NTPC had applied for forest clearance to mine 1.026 hectares of forestland. Aruna Chandrasekhar, senior researcher at Amnesty International India, said, "NTPCs mine received clearance to use forestland without adequate consultation with communities who depend on these forests for their livelihoods. However, NTPC's application for forest clearance shows letters of consent from 17 villages by the forest rights committees. These committees are not representative bodies and their approval cannot substitute for Gram Sabha approval. When Amnesty International approached NTPC for response on the allegations, the company said, "Forest clearance has been granted by the environment ministry after the compliance of all provisions under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980.  Similarly, private land was mainly acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas Acquisition and Development Act, 1957, and some under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, for building company offices and rehabilitation colonies. Both the Acts do not ask for consent of community in cases of coal bearing areas. In November 2013, the people from the villages led a 'coal satyagraha' in which they decided to dig out coal deposits beneath their lands on their own. They planned to sell the coal to traders and pay royalty to the Gram Sabha, suggesting it as an alternative model of mining in the region. In August 2015, protests against the coal mining turned violent when farmers confronted the police officials and the latter responded with tear gas shells and shot 22 rounds of bullets into the crowd. The affected families refused to accept the compensation offered by NTPC, which revised the rate to INR 20 lakh per acre from INR 7 lakh per acre. The villagers maintained that it was inadequate and continued to demand four times the market value of land under the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. In September 2019, Virendra Kumar, an activist from Jharkhand, said in a news report, Post 2016, the coal mining plant has been functional and is expanding at the cost of the lives and livelihoods of tribespeople and the environment. The latest attack (in September 2019) from the firm has been the forcible demolition of over 10 houses in Jugra (one of the affected village in Hazaribagh district) for the creation of heavy duty conveyor belts.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Breach of consent

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

33000

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, Land Acquisition Laws, Other

Legislations/Policies Involved

Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
Section 27 [Determination of amount of compensation payable to affected parties]; Section 31 [Rehabilitation and resettlement award for affected families]; Section 73 [This section provides for re-determination of compensation amount on the basis of the award of the authority]; Section 77 [This section deals with payment of compensation]
Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957
Section 7 [Power to acquire land or rights in or over land notified under Section 4]
Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
Section 2 [Restriction on the de-reservation of forests or use of forestland for non-forest purpose]
Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
Section 3(2) proviso (ii) [Consent of the Gram Sabha is essential for any developmental project]; Section 4(2)(e) [Free informed consent of Gram Sabha must be obtained in writing]
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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:

Incorrect estimation of compensation

Controversial land acquisition by the government

Non-implementation/violation of FRA

Violation of free prior informed consent

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

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)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Judicial harassment

Killing

Displacement

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Reported Details of the Violation:

A protest in August 2015, led by local politician Nirmala Devi, outside the rehabilitation colony turned violent. Six persons were injured when the police resorted to tear gas and opened fire on the crowd, including a journalist. On October 1, 2016, another protest in Pakri Barwadih village turned violent, where four protesters were killed and several were injured in police firing. According to activists working in the area, several false cases have been filed against those who have opposed the project. In September 2019, NTPC demolished over 10 houses in Jugra for the creation of heavy duty conveyor belts.

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Refusal of compensation

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Goverment of Jharkhand

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

National Thermal Power Corporation Limited

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Thriveni Sainik Mining Private Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Karanpura Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, Janmabhoomi Raksha Sangharsh Samiti, Buddhijeevi Manch, Ekta Parishad

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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