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Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha, Birbhum Coalfield, India


Government of India is going to allocate 17 coal blocks with estimated reserves of 8,500 million tonnes of coal to public sector undertakings (PSUs). The allocations of coal will be done under the amended provisions of MMDR Act (Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act) Deocha-Pachami block (total estimated ares of 9.7 Sq. km) is located in the south western part of Birbhum, West Bengal. Another potential coal reservoir Dewanganj Harinsingha blocks (estimated area 2.6 Sq. Km) is located in the western fringe of Birbhum. These two blocks together has constituted the largest coal reserve of West Bengal. West Bengal government is showing keen interest in extracting this coal reserves, expecting that the estimated huge reserve of coal will revive states economy. A number of local people are in favor of this project expecting that the proposed coal mining will change the socio-economic landscape of this region.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Deocha-Pachami-Dewanganj-Harinsingha, Birbhum Coalfield, India
State or province:West Bengal
Location of conflict:District-Birbhum
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral ore exploration
Coal extraction and processing
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Coal
Sand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Deocha-Pachami block has an estimated reserve of 19 billion tons of non-coking coal reserves. The initial investment will be around Rs 10,000 crore over three-four years.

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Project area:1,230
Level of Investment:8,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) from India
Coal India Limited (CIL) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of India, West Bengal Government
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Birbhum Jela Adivashi Gaonta (Birbhum District Trival Association)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Landless peasants
Various tribal associations
Forms of mobilization:Development of a network/collective action
The project has been recently announced, the implementation has not started yet. A number of tribal people has recently held a meeting that they will not allow mining in the region. If necessary they will go for hunger strike.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, 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
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Proposal and development of alternatives:Tribal people of that region decided that they will not allow any mining in the region.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The project is in exploratory phase
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

The Schedule Tribe and other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act
[click to view]



Act 1957.pdf
[click to view]

Land Right acts of India 1984 Amended in 2013
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[click to view]


Devanganj & Harisingha Block Boundary Plan.pdf
[click to view]

Devanganj Harisingha Salient Feature.pdf
[click to view]


Palynofloral changes in the Upper Paleozoic and Mesozoic of the Deocha-Pachami area, Birbhum Coalfield, West Bengal, India
[click to view]

India receives over 300 bids for coal mines
[click to view]

Govt to allocate 14 coal mines to PSUs within a week: Jaiswal
[click to view]

Government offers 17 coal blocks to PSUs news
[click to view]

খনি-প্রকল্পের বিরুদ্ধে এ বার ডাক আন্দোলনের (in Bengali)
[click to view]

Centre starts coal block allocation under new policy
[click to view]

মহাখনি থেকে কয়লা তুলতে সবুজ সঙ্কেত (in Bengali)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
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