Dow Chemicals R&D unit, Pune, India


Dow Chemicals was trying to build a chemical Research & Development (R&D) unit near Pune, India. The initial investment was $100 million for global research in new industrial materials, in addition to study in its traditional areas of chemicals and engineering [1].

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Basic Data
NameDow Chemicals R&D unit, Pune, India
SiteChakan, Alandi and Khed, Pune
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Chemical industries
Specific Commodities
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMaharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC)a Maharashtra government organization had given about 40 hectare (ha) of grazing land to Dow Chemicals for a research and development facility in Shendi village, 30 km from Pune [2].

The initial investment was about Rs 400-crore (Rs 4 billion) to carry out R&D for the company.

Project Area (in hectares)40
Level of Investment (in USD)100,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Company Names or State EnterprisesDow Chemical Company from United States of America
Relevant government actorsMaharashtra Pollution Control Board, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Religious groups
The group campaign for justice for victims of the Bhopal Gas leak disaster [6]. Yuva Bharat, one of the organizations at the forefront of the agitation [7].
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), 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, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The issue became politically contentious, the state government was forced to put a stay on the project and set up a panel under a former high court judge to probe the villagers’ allegations. Dow Chemical Co wrote to MIDC asking to surrender the land at Chakan for their proposed R & D centre. The company was considering alternative site in the state. The project was abandoned and the land was returned because of protests[5,6].
Sources and Materials

(Department of Environment, Forest and Wildlife)
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[1 ] Dow quashes Chakan research plan
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[2] Pune villages protest at Dow research facility
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[3] Dow Chemical moves Bombay HC to shift Pune R&D project
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[4] Work halted at Dow Chemicals unit after protests near Pune
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[5] Dow Chemicals’ project to be shifted out of Pune
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[6] River ‘god’ throws out Dow from Pune
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Protests halt work at Dows $102m India R&D site
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Media Links

Dow Chemicals Pune plant demolished by warkaris
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Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014