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Special Economic Zone Hosur – GMR Krishnagiri Special Investment Region, TN, India

Agricultural land sacrified for industrial purposes; an ever ending mantra for Indian communities


Tamil Nadu State government through its executing agency Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) planned to establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Hosur, in Krishnagriri district of Tamil Nadu. TIDCO had obtained `in-principle' approval from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India for establishing this SEZ. In 2006 the estimated cost of the proposed SEZ was about Rs. 512 crore. PricewaterHouseCoopers a global consultancy firm had conducted feasibility study of the SEZ in 2005. The district administration had also sent a proposal to the TN Government to get the administrative sanction for the project. Initially, the district administration had identified 1,053 hectares of land in the following villages; Bairamangalam, Kundumanapalli in Denkanikottai taluk and Achettipalli, Onnalvadi and Senamoa villages in Hosur taluk. [1].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Special Economic Zone Hosur – GMR Krishnagiri Special Investment Region, TN, India
State or province:Tamil Nadu
Location of conflict:Town-Hosur, District - Krishnagriri
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other industries
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

This multi-product Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is located at the villages of Bairamangalam, Kundumanapalli in Denkanikottai taluk and Achettipalli, Onnalvadi and Senamoa villages at Hosur taluk in Krishnagiri District. About 4.300 acres of land have been identified in Krishnagiri District for the SEZ purpose. Although the site is located in southern state of Tamil Nadu, the place is closer to Bangalore and about 90 kilometer from New Bangalore International Airport at Devanahalli. The estimated project cost is about Rs. 2,300 Crores. The project is jointly developed by Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) along with GMR infrastructure Ltd. GMR infrastructure Ltd acts as JV Partner to implement this SEZ. The SEZ will be product based and preference will be given to Information Technology, ITES, food processing, engineering and other types of industries. The project will generate about 70,000 employments once it is completed [4,5].

Project area:1000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project$378,671,398 (INR 2300 Crore)
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:30,000-40,000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) from India - Executor
GMR Group (GMR) from India - Executor
Relevant government actors:Government of Tamil Nadu
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Movement Against SEZs (MAS) Local Villagers
Local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of alternative proposals
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: 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, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Displacement, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Proposal and development of alternatives:For the proposed SEZ, about 5,000 families were dependent on the acquired land for livelihood. The land is highly fertile and most of them are depend on agriculture as their sole means of living. So, land owners whose lands fall in the SEZ area have urged the government not to take over the land.
The farmers proposed the government to acquire another site, instead of taking possession of agricultural land. They suggested the government can acquire about 7,500 acres of “poromboke land”(vested government land and not privately owned) [2].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The area acquired for SEZ purpose is a cultivable land. Many villagers have been cultivating the land for generations. It is their sole means of livelihood. This sole source of livelihood has acquired by the government because the outdated government land records and surveys had earlier classified the area as unproductive and 'dry land'. Like other SEZ project where government assured the land losers of employment is not possible. It is difficult to employ unskilled local workers in the SEZ projects where it requires highly skilled specialized manpower. Also, beside the cultivable lands, other livelihood people lost has not been considered [3]
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

SEZ Act, 2005
[click to view]

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
[click to view]

[1] SEZ to be established near Hosur at Rs. 512 cr.
[click to view]

[2] Farmers protest against SEZ at Bairamangalam
[click to view]

[3] Villagers protest razing of houses for SEZs
[click to view]

[4] Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) (Hosur SEZ)
[click to view]

[5] Krishnagiri Special Investment Region
[click to view]

GMR Infra expedites SEZ land acquisition
[click to view]

GMR to raise Rs 550-cr by selling SEZ land
[click to view]

SEZs: The great land grab
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

101 East - India's Special Economic Zones - Part 2
[click to view]

101 East - India's Special Economic Zones Part 1
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:1508
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