Steel Company in Jharkhand's Bokaro Resolves Land Dispute by Offering Jobs, Compensation

Reported by

AlokLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

October 28, 2021

Location of Conflict

Siyaljori

Chandankyari

Bokaro

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Steel Plant

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

1350

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

809

ha

Starting Year

2009

State

Jharkhand

Sector

Industry

Electrosteel Steels Limited (ESL), now acquired by Vedanta, received Environmental Clearance (EC) to set up a steel plant in Bokaro** in 2008. The steel plant was proposed to be constructed on 2,000 acres of land in Siyaljori and Bhagaband villages. Since the beginning, the project was embroiled in two major disputes one, involving the encroachment of forestland by ESL and two, failure to compensate the villagers for their land acquired for the project. From March 2009 to March 2017, the forest department of Bokaro filed 53 cases against ESL, alleging encroachment of 174 hectares of forestland under the Jharkhand Public Land Encroachment Act, 1956. The case went to the High Court of Jharkhand. In 2018, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) revoked the EC to the project and the Jharkhand Pollution Control Board rejected its Consent to Operate. However, the high court stayed the rejection order and allowed the plant to operate. Since 2012, the plant was also surrounded by controversy over the acquisition of private land from the farmers of Chandankyari village. The farmers had demanded better compensation rates from ESL. Many of them were marginal farmers, who said they lost their land at much lower rates than the market price. They also demanded jobs in the company and organised regular blockades to protest. They claimed that they were not informed about the purpose of the land acquisition in advance. Following the protests, the company asked the farmers to negotiate on the issue to reach a longterm settlement. Based on a report, some of the affected families were later given better compensation, and ESL was forced to pay minimum wages to its 700 contractual workers employed from Chandankyari in its plant. ** In December 2019, the MoEF&CC regularised the encroached forestland and granted Forest Clearance to ESL. By regularising, the ministry deemed the encroachment legal, with a payment of a fine on ESL citing that "such instances do not happen in future".

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Demand for employment

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

15000

Type of investment:

Investment Made

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

Yes

When did it end?

December 2019

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance 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:

Incorrect estimation of compensation, Controversial land acquisition by the government , Non-implementation/violation of the FRA, Violation of free prior informed consent, Violation of environmental laws

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Jharkhand

Case Number

W.P. (C) No. 1873 of 2018 with W.P. (C) No. 4850/2018

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

Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Forest department

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:

Electrosteel Steels Limited, Vedanta Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Marxist Coordination Committee

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

Alok

Reviewed By

Alok

Updated By

Alok

Edited By

AlokLand Conflict Watch
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