Amravati Thermal Power Project, Maharashtra, India

Description
Amravati Thermal Power Project is located at village Nandgaonpeth in Amravati district of Maharashtra. The plant is of 1350 MW capacity and is setup by Indiabulls Power Ltd. (IPL.) [1]
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Basic Data
NameAmravati Thermal Power Project, Maharashtra, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceMaharashtra
SiteVillage -Nandgaonpeth; District-Amravati
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Water access rights and entitlements
Thermal power plants
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Dams and water distribution conflicts
Specific CommoditiesWater
Land
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsAmravati Thermal Power Project located in Amaravati district of Maharashtra. It is coal based power plant which generates 1350 MW of power. The land is provided by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation’s (MIDC). The coal is supplied by South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (SECL), Western Coalfields Ltd. (WCL) and Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL). Vidharbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC), Nagpur has approved water allocation 87.6 million cubic meters per annum. According to the company website, the Project has got all necessary environmental clearance from the concerned authorities [1].
Project Area (in hectares)546
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population125000-150000 (25,000 farmers)
Start Date2010
Company Names or State EnterprisesVidharbha Irrigation Development Corporation from India
Indiabulls Power Limited from India
Indiabulls Group from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest (Government of India), Government of Maharashtra, South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. (SECL), Western Coalfields Ltd. (WCL), Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. (MCL), Vidharbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC)

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersUpper Wardha Paani Bachao Kruti Samiti (a campaign to save water of the Upper Wardha dam), Kisan Ekta Manch, Greenpeace India, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), different political parties and Local Villagers
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Fishermen
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Strikes
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in violence and crime
Potential: Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesLocal people, farmers, activists from different political parties have opposed the diversion of water from the Upper Wardha to the project to the thermal power plant. People were afraid that the water diversion would reduce the irrigation potential of Amravati. The district is depending on agriculture and has already facing a severe irrigation crisis. Activists as well as farmers demanded that the farmers should be priorities for water use in agriculture and not for the power plant. Villagers including the local MLAs from the region had written their demands to the Chief Minister to scrap the project [4,7].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Vidarbha region, particularly in three districts of Amravati division are severely water short district in Maharastra. These districts are also affected by farmer suicides and rural distress [4]. The state government had diverted more than 80 million cubic metre of water generally used for agriculture from Wardha district to Indiabulls Power Ltd [6].

Even Bombay High Court had recently rejected an application by Vidarbha's farmers to withdraw recent order wherein to upheld allocation of 87.6 million cubic metres of water annually to Indiabulls' thermal power plant [5].

Even during the drought, the government has been favouring power plants in the drought affected regions instead of drinking water for the people. This is a gross violation of farmer's right [7]
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Environmental Clearance Stage 1
[click to view]

Environmental Clearence Stage 2
[click to view]

References

Endangered Water
[click to view]

Links

[1]Amravati Thermal Power Project
[click to view]

[2] Protesters stall work on thermal project in Amravati
[click to view]

[3] MNS members vandalize Indiabulls office in Amravati
[click to view]

[4] Protesters stall work on thermal project in Amravati
[click to view]

[5] After Mumbai, MNS workers attack Indiabulls' Amravati office
[click to view]

[6] Violence against Indiabulls reflects anger, anxiety of common man: MNS
[click to view]

[7] Greenpeace protests water diversion to power plants
[click to view]

Farmers complain of trespass, intimidation by power project officials
[click to view]

Farmers ransack offices to protest power plants
[click to view]

Indiabulls' Amravati power plant lands in court n
[click to view]

Media Links

Youth Commits Suicide as stir against Indiabulls takes serious turn-TV9
[click to view]

Amravati : Raj Thackrey on india bulls project (in Marathi)
[click to view]

Amravati : India Bulls Issue (in Marathi)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update07/07/2014
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