Ganeshpur Coal Mine, Jharkhand, India

Description
Tata Steel and Adhunik Power and Natural Resource Limited (APNRL) were jointly assigned about 237 hectare of land for mining coal at Ganeshpur in Latehar district of Jharkhand. The proposed mining area falls in Jala village. The village is inhibited by the tribal people mainly ‘Oraon’ tribe. The villagers had refused to give consent to coal mining. Rather they are claiming the proposed mining area for their use under forest rights claims as the area is a forest land. They demanded that their unresolved forest rights claims were to be settled first, before any mining activity. As they were unwilling to give consent, they have alleged that they were threatened by the Tritiya Sammelan Prastuti Committee, a left wing extremist group and the “company’s dalal” (middlemen) for opposing the mining project [1].
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Basic Data
NameGaneshpur Coal Mine, Jharkhand, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceJharkhand
SiteVillage-Latehar
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Specific CommoditiesCoal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsGaneshpur coal block falls under the Ganeshpur Panchayat area in Palamau district of Jharkhand state. The coal block is spread with an estimated area of 2.37 Sq.Km. The project is a green field project and the estimated cost of the project is 550 crore. The total Land Requirement is 398 hectare. Among the total land, the agricultural land is about 154 hectare and forestland is about 168 hectare [3,4].
Project Area (in hectares)398
Level of Investment (in USD)92,707,865 (550 crore)
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date01/05/2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesTata Steel from India
Tata Group from India
Adhunik Power and Natural Resources Limited from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of India, Ministry of Coal, Government of Jharkhand, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersJala Forest Rights Committee (FRC), Village forest rights committee (FRC)

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of alternative proposals
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Development of AlternativesAlthough some villagers agreed to the mining project with the condition that some portion of land will be left untouched for their use, most of them were unwilling to give up their rights over the land. Villagers submitted their community forest rights claims on 456 hectares of forest in October 2011. Beside this the village also passed a resolution against the mining project on August 18, 2012 [1]
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Villagers, mostly the tribal are dead against the project. They want their forest right claim settled first. Government official and Company representatives claimed that villagers had given their consents for the project. However, the villagers had claimed that most of them had not given their permission [2]

Unwilling villagers submitted memorandum to the Jharkhand Governor. They alleged that the gram sabha was held without their consent. So, the resolution passed by the Gramsabha (village meeting) was illegal [1].

Members of the Sub Divisonal Level Committee rejected the claims for community rights over the 456 hectares of forest, recognizing only two burial grounds as community land. The Forest Department had also falsely implicated a number of villagers (perhaps the unwilling villagers) for destroying forest and cutting trees [1].
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Forest Rights Act 2006 (Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act)
[click to view]

Links

[2] As coal-blocks face deallocation, a rush for environment clearance
[click to view]

[3]Ganeshpur Block, North Karanpura Coalfield, Dist: Palamu , Jharkhand
[click to view]

[4] Ganeshpur Coal Mine, Latehar, Jharkhand
[click to view]

[1] Tribal villagers resist attempts to deny them their forest rights
[click to view]

Other Documents

Villagers protest land acquisition at Jala in Latehar, Jharkhand Source : Tribal villagers resist attempts to deny them their forest rights
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-andhrapradesh/tribal-villagers-resist-attempts-to-deny-them-their-forest-rights/article5551584.ece
[click to view]

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ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update16/06/2014
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