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Adivasi protest in Gare Pelma coal mine, Kosampali, Chhattisgarh, India

A two decade long conflict over coal mining in the Gare Pelma block in Chhattisgarh, involving violence, prolonged struggle and with mixed results and uncertainties.


The Gare Pelma IV/ 2 & 3 coal block is a part of the Mand Raigarh coalfield in Ghargoda tehsil of Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh. The block covers 6 villages and is spread over 965 hectares with a geological reserve of 247 million tonnes of coal.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Adivasi protest in Gare Pelma coal mine, Kosampali, Chhattisgarh, India
State or province:Chhattisgarh
Location of conflict:Ghargoda tehsil, Raigarh district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Coal extraction and processing
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Gare Pelma IV/2&3 coal block is a part of the Mand Raigarh coalfield in Ghargoda tehsil of Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh. The block covers 6 villages and is spread over 965 hectares with a geological reserve of 247 million tonnes of coal.

Project area:968
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:01/01/1998
Company names or state enterprises:Jindal Steel and Power Limited from India
Relevant government actors:Coal India Limited and its subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields Limited
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Jan Chetna Manch, Raigarh.
Adivasi Majdoor Kisan Ekta Sangthan.
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, 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: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Potential: Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Although there have been some victories in terms of getting court verdicts with respect to the formation of a committee to look into serious environmental violations as well as payment of Rs. 5 crore each by both CIL and Jindal as part of performance guarantee bond for compensating the affected people [3], the future plan of action isn't clear yet.
Sources & Materials

3. A Successful Protest Against a Chhattisgarh Mine Highlights the Failure of India’s Coal Auctions by Aruna Chandrashekhar, The Wire. 10.09.2017
[click to view]

1. EIA for Jindal coal mine in Chhattisgarh ignores threats. Sujit Kumar. Down to Earth. 15 February 2008
[click to view]

4.How Chhattisgarh's mine protest expose failure of India's coal auctions. This unusual protest unfolds the heart of the Mand Raigarh coalfields that hold 3.675 billion tonnes. 10 Sept 2017
[click to view]

2. Newspaper article in The Hindu about the quashing of the Environmental Clearance by the National Green Tribunal in 2012.
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Video mentioning how the public hearing conducted by Jindal was fake, and the green tribunal rejected the environmental clearance.
[click to view]

The Death of Kelo River, by Video Volunteer Savita Rath
[click to view]

Other documents

Description of the coal block
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Brototi Roy
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3013
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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