September 1, 2017
September 1, 2017
September 1, 2017
On July 12, 2016, The Government of Odisha formally granted mining lease in the Seragarh hill of Pottangi block of Koraput district to the PSU National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) for a period of 50 years. The bauxite reserve spread over an area of 1738 hectares would cater to the raw material needs of Nalco's expansion plan of its refinery at Damanjodi in Koraput district with an investment of Rs 5,600 crore.
Thousands of locals from Koratpur district under the banner of Serubandha Parvat Surakhaya Samiti protested against the move of the state government to grant the lease in 2015 itself, when the media reports were out. Along with taking out a rally, they submitted a three page memorandum to the governor through the tehsildar demanding the immediate dissolution of the project. They expressed their serious objection against the purposed mining as this will have an adverse impact on the environment includes erosion, the formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, ground water and surface water by chemicals, and permanent degradation of the land. Further, they have emphasized that as their area belongs to the 5th Schedule of the Constitution, the government must organize a gram sabha consultation as per the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas Act 1996 and without such consultation, the stands null and void. At a gram sabha meeting held in June, 2019, it was reported that villagers reiterated their opposition for the mining project noting how it will impact the lives of over 5000 people.
Although several media outlets reported that NALCO, conducted a successful and "smooth" public hearing in the same year, regarding the bauxite mines, with full "support" from the local villagers on 17th December, 2019, a contradictory account of the meeting was published by The New Indian Express on the very same day. The article noted how social activist Pratap Choudhury opposed the mining at the meeting as it would impact agriculture in the area. As of 2021, the environmental clearance for the project is still pending. Further, in May 2021, the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission)acting on a petition filed by advocate Radhakanta Tripathy, directed the Chief Secretary of Odisha to investigate the grievances of individuals displaced and affected by several projects in the Koraput district, including NALCO. Mr. Tripathy in his petition also called for a reexamination of the MOU signed between NALCO and the Government of Odisha.
Refusal to give up land for the project
Opposition against environmental degradation
Forest and Non-Forest
Total investment involved (in Crores):
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
Land Acquisition Laws, Environmental Laws, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws
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:
Non-implmentation/violation of PESA
Non-implementation/violation of FRA
Controversial land acquisition by the government
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)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)
Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials
Objections as part of official procedures
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Government of Odisha
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO)
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:
Serubandh Parvat Surakshya Samiti