Karchana power plant, Uttar Pradesh, India

Description

Karchana power plant project was proposed in 2007 under the then Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government of Uttar Pradesh (UP). Around 2,500 bighas of land was acquired from 2,286 farmers in eight villages. The project was handed over to Jaypee Group in 2009. The project never takes off due to consistent and often violent protests by the farmers over compensation [1].

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Basic Data
NameKarchana power plant, Uttar Pradesh, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceUttar Pradesh
SiteKarchana, Allahabad
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Other industries
Thermal power plants
Specific Commodities
Land
Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsKarchana power plant, located in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh is 1980 MW power plant is being developed by JPV subsidiary Sangam Power Generation Company [4] The estimated cost of the project was R10,000-crore project. The project was first mooted by the Mayawati government in 2007 [5]
Project Area (in hectares)833
Level of Investment (in USD)1,613,066,203
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population15,000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesJaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) from India
Jaypee Group from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Uttar Pradesh, Allahabad High Court
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPunravas Kisan Kalyan Sahayata Samiti, Local Villagers constitute Maha Panchyat, a union of villagers
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
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Local villagers went to the high court. In April 2013, the Allahabad High Court quashed the state government’s notification for the acquisition of 650 hectare of land under the urgency clause for the project and said farmers who had already lifted the compensation for their land should either return the money and take back the land or willingly hand over the land for the project.
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, 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-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Militarization and increased police presence, Land dispossession
Potential: Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesThe farmers are protesting since 2007. However, farmers are ready to call off their protest if any agreement is reached. This development is in contrast to their earlier stand. As reported earlier, the farmers were in strict opposition to the power plant regardless of any improvement in the compensation offered to them. Farmers are now ready to give up our land for better rehabilitation. Despite the optimism among farmers, it is not clear whether the Rehabilitation and Resettlement act would apply to the project as parts of the land were acquired earlier [1].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Farmers allege that they are being harassed by motivated goons, intermediaries and officials. Farmers are also living in fear for, eight FIRs have been lodged against hundreds of them during the initial protests, which had turned violent. Many letters to the State and the Centre have brought no relief. The poor farmer is made to live in fear that he can be sent to jail any time. According to one farmer, by invoking the same Sections that are used for Maoists, the State is trying to terrorize farmers [1]
Sources and Materials
Legislations

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013
[click to view]

Links

[1] Allahabad farmers ready for talks on Karchana power plant
[click to view]

[2] UP govt plans to revive Karchana power project
[click to view]

[3] Karchana power plant: farmers to take a decision
[click to view]

[4] Karchana Thermal Power Project
[click to view]

[5] Akhilesh revives Jaypee’s 1,320 MW Karchana project
[click to view]

Media Links

Government Plays with Power, Dalits Displaced (in Hindi with English subtitles)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update20/07/2014
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