Last update:
2017-09-20

Dicontent over land acquisition in Deocha-Pachhami Dewangani Harinsingha in West Bengal, largest coal block in India

Largest coal block in India about to be operational in West Bengal. Discontent is brewing over inadequate compensation to tribal people.


Description:

The Deocha-Pachhami Dewangani Harinsingha coal block located in the district of Birbhum, West Bengal was allocated by the Ministry of Coal, Government of India on 06.09.2013 to the following State/Central Government power generation companies jointly- West Bengal, Bihar, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Sutlej Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd. (SJVNL). The total area of the block is 12.3 sq. km. with an estimated reserve of 2102 million tonnes.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Dicontent over land acquisition in Deocha-Pachhami Dewangani Harinsingha in West Bengal, largest coal block in India
Country:India
State or province:West Bengal
(municipality or city/town)Birbhum district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Coal extraction and processing
Specific commodities:Land
Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The mining will be carried out by a joint venture between the West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited, and Bengal Birbhum Coalfield Limited. The estimated reserves is 2102 million tonnes while the total area of the block is 12.3 sq. km.

Project area:1,250
Level of Investment:3,500,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000-15,000
Start of the conflict:2013
Company names or state enterprises:Bengal Birbhum Coalfields Limited (BBCL) from India - Main company for mining this block
West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited ( WBMDTCL) from India - To initiate, manage and implement preoperative activities and selection of Mine Developer and Operator for carrying out detailed exploration, plan, development and actual mining operation.
Relevant government actors:Government of West Bengal, Ministry of Coal, Government of India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Birbhum Jela Adivashi Gaonta (Birbhum District Tribal Association)
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Development of alternative proposals
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), 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 ImpactsPotential: Accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Outcome
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:This is still not operational, and the relocation and rehabilitation plans haven't been carried out yet.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

7. Report about the tensions brewing with respect to the displaced tribals
[click to view]

3. Promise of jobs and development by the chief minister of West Bengal
[click to view]

1. Details about the coal block
[click to view]

2. Mamata Banerjee's announcement during the inauguration
[click to view]

5. Report about conflicts over stone quarrying in the same region
[click to view]

4. Potential difficulties in operationalizing the mines
[click to view]

6. Report about what the local people demand
[click to view]

Other documents

Location of the coal block. Courtesy http://www.bbcl.co.in
[click to view]

Photo of the Mine courtesy: http://www.bbcl.co.in
[click to view]

Location of the coal block. Courtesy http://www.bbcl.co.in
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra and Brototi Roy
Last update20/09/2017
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