Residents, Activists in North Goa Oppose Expansion of MRF Factory

Reported by

Anamika Gode

Legal Data by

Edited by

Updated by

Published on

September 13, 2019

September 13, 2019

Updated on

September 13, 2019

Location of Conflict

Usgao-Ganjem, Ponda

North Goa

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Manufacturing

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1200

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

6

ha

Starting Year

2016

State

Goa

Sector

Industry

The residents of Usgao village in Goa have opposed the expansion of the MRF Tubes and Tyre Factory in their village. According to them, the existing unit, which was set up in 1971, has been a source of air pollution. They believe the proposed expansion will exert pressure on the natural resources in the area, besides affecting public health and the quality of life. There is already rampant industrial activity in the vicinity resulting from three other industrial plants Nestle, Finolex and Devyani Foods. Another major concern of the residents is that the location of the factory and expansion site is adjacent to Khandepar river, a major source of water for the village residents as well as for the Opa Water Works, which supplies water to almost 40 per cent of Goa. The expansion proposal states that the project will require 0.35 million litres of water per day from Khandepar river. A study of all government documents by environmental nonprofit Goa Foundation, submitted by MRF to the court, reveals that no environmental study has been carried out before the site was chosen for the expansion. The expansion proposal was approved by the Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board in 2015, following which other authorities, such as the Town and Country Planning Department, granted the required permissions. The panchayat, on the other hand, had passed two resolutions on March 28 and November 20 in 2016 rejecting the expansion of the plant. In January 2017, a large number of coconut and other trees were felled at the site. This prompted the residents to immediately approach the authorities to take action against the tree felling and development work. In May 2018, the Dhatwada Usgao Citizens Forum, a civil society group, along with the Goa Foundation, filed a public interest litigation before the High Court of Bombay at Goa challenging the permissions granted for the expansion and seeking a stay order on construction activities and development work that had commenced. On September 11, 2019, the high court directed MRF to stop work at the site. The case is now in its final stage of hearing.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project

Opposition against environmental degradation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):

800

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Other, Environmental Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
Clause 2 [Projects falling within Category A in Schedule to require prior environmental clearance from the environment ministry and projects falling within Category B to require prior environmental clearance from SEIAA at the state level]; Schedule [Entry 1 refers to mining and extracting of natural resources and power generation, such that mining of minerals requires prior environmental clearance]
Goa, Daman and Diu Town and Country Planning Act, 1974
Section 8 [Functions of the Board to include guiding, directing and assisting planning and development authorities on physical development programmes within the Union Territory]
Goa Investment Promotion Act, 2014
Section 7 [Power of the Board to include recommending projects to the government for demarcating and notifying areas as investment promotion areas]
Goa Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1985
Rule 53 [Rules to not apply to extraction of minor minerals, which may be found while constructing building/roads]
Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957
Section 3(d) [Mining operations defined to be any operation undertaken for purpose of winning any mineral]
Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994
Section 60 [Panchayat may issue resolutions which promote the health, safety, education, comfort, convenience or special or economic well-being of the inhabitants of the panchayat area]
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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:

No items found.

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Pending

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Bombay at Goa

Case Number

PIL WP 17/2018

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Development of a network or collective

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Goa Investment Promotion and Facilitation Board, Goa Town and Country Planning Department, Directorate of Mines and Geology, Department of Water Resources, Goa State Pollution Control Board

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:

MRF Private Limited (Madras Rubber Factory)

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Goa Foundation, Dhatwada Usgao Citizens Forum

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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