Welspun Energy Thermal Power Plant at Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh

Description

The proposed thermal power plant of the company in Mirzapur acquired land based on false informations showing agricultural land and forest land as barren land. The project site is habitat of several wild animals including Sloth Bears, Monitor Lizards, Vultures, Leopard, Deers and is surrounded by several Reserve forests. In its EIA report, the company claimed there is no wildlife and forest area. The land acquision process can be called as most brutal land acquisition in Uttar Pradesh till now where not even compensations are paid and the land is acquired using muscle power with help of local mafias.

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Basic Data
NameWelspun Energy Thermal Power Plant at Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh
CountryIndia
ProvinceUttar Pradesh
SiteVillage- Dadri Khurd, Tehsil-Sadar, Dist.-Mirzapur
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Dams and water distribution conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts
Thermal power plants
Specific CommoditiesWater
Electricity
Land
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsCapacity: 1320 MW (2 x 660 MW)

Coal Requirement: 6.74 MTPA

Coal Source: Indonesia (via railway from port)

Water Requirement: 36 MCM + additional 9 MCM proposed

Water Source: River Ganges and Upper Khajuri Reservoir

Land Requirement: 875 Acres
Project Area (in hectares)875
Level of Investment (in USD)around 1,300,000,000 (9000 Crores INR)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population1000-3000
Start Date01/03/2013
Company Names or State EnterprisesWelspun Energy (U.P.) Pvt. Ltd. from India
Relevant government actorsMininstry of Environment and Forests

Department of Irrigation, State of Uttar Pradesh

Central Water Commission, Ministry of Water Resources
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersVindhya Bachao Andolan, Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation, Eco One youth group at BHU (Banaras Hindu University)
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
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Refusal of compensation
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
OtherMercury, Arsenic and heavy metal contamination in drinking water and vegetable, silicosis, respiratory problem
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
OtherThe company allegedly tortured local farmers to give away their lands at meagre price. Those who raised voices were trapped in false criminal cases and an atmosphere of fear was created. See attached news paper clippings in next tab.
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Creation of local movements and involvement of university students
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Central Government has not made public its final decision on the project but the appraisal committee has recommended the environment clearance in March, 2014.
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
[click to view]

Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006
[click to view]

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Forest Conservation Rules, 2003
[click to view]

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013
[click to view]

Links

Water for Power: Irrigation Dam to be Used for Thermal Power- Drinking Water Supply of BHU, Agriculture, and Existence of Waterfalls at Risk, SANDRP, 20th March, 2014 blinking new
[click to view]

Did Welspun fudge facts for its coal-fired power plant in Mirzapur?
[click to view]

Media Links

Site Visit Report of the project and critique of the EIA submitted by Vindhya Bachao to Ministry of Environment and Forests
[click to view]

Petition signed by 550 students of BHU against the project
[click to view]

EIA documents and compalints related to the project as downloadable pdf
[click to view]

Other Documents

Entrance Restricted, road owned by Forest Department The board points to the entrance of the narrow forest road that leads to the power project site. The same road has been showed as common road in the EIA report.
[click to view]

Actual Site Photograph Shown as barren land in the EIA report.
[click to view]

Actual Site Photograph No forest land mentioned in EIA report.
[click to view]

News clip: Welspun Torturing Farmers
[click to view]

News clip: Person Sued for protesting against Welspun Company
[click to view]

News clip: Welspun Grabbing Farmer's Land
[click to view]

News clip: Fake Deed of Land for Power Project
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorDebadityo Sinha, Vindhya Bachao ([email protected])
Last update31/07/2014
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