Last update:
2014-04-08

Dow Chemicals R&D unit, Pune, India

Description:

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
Name of conflict:Dow Chemicals R&D unit, Pune, India
Country:India
State or province:Maharashtra
Location of conflict:Chakan, 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 details

Maharashtra 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].

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Project area:40
Level of Investment:100,000,000
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Dow Chemical Company (Dow) from United States of America
Relevant government actors:Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
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 mobilization:Blockades
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Sabotage
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Strikes
Impacts
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-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Project cancelled
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

MANUFACTURE, STORAGE AND IMPORT OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL RULES, 1989

(Department of Environment, Forest and Wildlife)
[click to view]

MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[2] Pune villages protest at Dow research facility
[click to view]

[1 ] Dow quashes Chakan research plan
[click to view]

[4] Work halted at Dow Chemicals unit after protests near Pune
[click to view]

[5] Dow Chemicals’ project to be shifted out of Pune
[click to view]

[6] River ‘god’ throws out Dow from Pune
[click to view]

[3] Dow Chemical moves Bombay HC to shift Pune R&D project
[click to view]

Protests halt work at Dows $102m India R&D site
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Dow Chemicals Pune plant demolished by warkaris
[click to view]

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