Tribals protest against illegal windmill farms in Attappady

Reported by

Dr. K.H. Amitha Bachan

Published on

January 29, 2017

January 29, 2017

Updated on

January 29, 2017

Location of Conflict

Attappady

Palakkad

This is a Left Wing Extremism Affected District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Renewable Power

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

36

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

97

ha

Starting Year

2005

State

Kerala

Sector

Power

For the tribesmen of Attappady in Keralas Palakkad district, 31 wind turbines symbolise exploitation. Attappady is home to 6,000 tribal families in 180 hamlets scattered over 745 sq km in three panchayats. In 2007, Punebased Sarjan Realities started taking on lease Adivasi land located in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve. The firm set up 31 windmills on 623 acres for the multinational company, Suzlon Energy Ltd. The turbines have a combined capacity of 20MW. The windmills were sanctioned by the Agency for Nonconventional Energy and Rural Technology (see image of report by Tehelka) When inaugurated in 2007, Suzlon Energy announced that power generated would cater to Attappadys requirement, and the rest would be transmitted to the other parts of Palakkad. Incidentally, Keralas Tribal Land Act, 1975, mandates that tribal land can only be sold to other tribals, that too under unavoidable circumstances (see the attached report by Tehelka). The Supreme Court had asked the government to cancel all transactions after 1986, but the order was circumvented by forcing tribal families to part with their land. On August 8, 2010, the then district collector K. V. Mohan sought the details of all land deals in Attappady since January 2006. Earlier, the collector had recommended the government to conduct a detailed inquiry into the land deals by Sarjan Realities .In a May 17, 2010 report, Attappady's Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) officer stated that Suzlon was buying and encroaching upon tribal land to lay roads. The officer also mentioned that more than 60 hectares, where the company has put up windmills, belonged to 36 tribals who were paying tax for the land. While Sarjan Realities claimed that the 261 ha land was bought from nontribals, the report claim that it was tribal land. The tribals were misled into believing that they were giving their land on lease. Some of them got Rs 12,000 for land. They thought the land would be utilised for widening the panchayat roads, the report said. In December 2011, the Kerala High Court ordered a status quo on the government decision to takeover about 85.21 acres of tribal land occupied by Suzlon. Earlier in 2011, the Oommen Chandyled government had promised to give a portion of Suzlons profit to the tribal families on whose land it had set up windmills. But the plan was changed after criticism and the project was shelved. When asked about the decision, M. Sukumaran of Attappady Samrakshana Samithi (Attappady Protection Council) said if implemented, it would amount to agreeing that the land was legally taken over. According to an agreement between the state government and National Hydro Power Corporation in 2014, it was proposed 82 MW of wind power would be generated in Attappady in various stages. The council demands the land to be returned where the windmills are installed. Sukumaran said each of these windmills stand on one acre and 20 cents of land, taken over using fake documents. The farms have been sealed and the towers were ordered to be removed amid controversy in 2015. However, the village panchayat had approached the  Kerala High Court to demand directive against the companies which refuse to evacuate the land. The tribal families, meanwhile, are not sure if they would benefit from the project. The Adivasi protection council, too, is confused and has hit a deadend. The members feel that they will not be provided with relief by the government.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Dispossession of land through fraud

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

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

Legislations/Policies Involved

Kerala Scheduled Tribes (Restriction on Transfer of Lands and Restoration of Alienated Lands) Act, 1975
Section 4: Mandates that immovable property of a member of an ST community can only be transferred to another person from an ST community
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section 3(1)(f): Wrongfully occupying property of a person belonging to an ST community
  1. 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.

    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.

  2. 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.

    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.

  3. 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.

    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.

  4. 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.

    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.

  5. 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.

    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.

  6. 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.

    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.

  7. 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.

    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:

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Non-implementation of land reform laws

Scheduled Tribe status or lack of status

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

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)

Kerala High Court

Case Number

W.P(C).No.34006 of 2010

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

Protests/marches

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Kerala State Electricity Board, Kerala 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:

Suzlon Energy, Poppy Umbrella Mart, Anna Aluminium, Bhima Jewellery

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Adivasi Samrakshana Samithi

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Contribute Now