Mahan Coal Limited, India


Mahan Coal Limited is a 50:50 joint venture (JV) firm of Hindalco Industries (Aditya Birla Group) and Essar Power. Mahan Coal Limited (MCL) is going to extract coal from Mahan block of Singrauli fields in Madhya Pradesh. Coal produced by MCL will supply coal to the proposed power plants of both Essar and Hindalco. Essar Power is investing Rs 4,000 crore for a 1,000MW power project while Hindalco is setting up a 750-MW captive power plant with an estimated investment of Rs 2,400 crore. As per the lease agreement, Essar will use 60% of the coal output and Hindalco will take the remaining 40%. The mine, with proven reserves of 150m tonne of coal, will cater to the combined Rs 6,400 crore power projects being set up by the two conglomerates [1].

See more...
Basic Data
NameMahan Coal Limited, India
ProvinceMadhya Pradesh
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
Specific CommoditiesElectricity

Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMahan Coal Limited ('MCL'), a joint venture company between Hindalco lndustries Limited ('HIL') and Essar Power M.P Limited ('EPMPL'), has been granted a captive coal block ('Mahan Coal Block') in Singaruli District of Madhya Pradesh, which will mine coal for the two ventured companies. The total coal reserves are about 144 Million Tonnes with the grade of coal as E to F. The Mahan Coal Block isto produce 8.5 Million Tonnes of coal per annum by open cast mining system [5] The investment corresponds to INR 6,400 Crore, more than US$ 1 billion.
Project Area (in hectares)1,072
Level of Investment (in USD)1,040,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population14,000
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesAditya Birla Group from India
Essar Power Limited from India
Hindalco Industries Limited from India
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Coal, Government of India, Ministry of Enviornment & Forest, Madhya Pradesh Government
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMahan Sangharsh Samiti (MSS), Greenpeace India, Kalpavriksh
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
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Bollywood actor Abhay Deol (Green Peace Campaign)
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, 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, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesGreenpeace India demands a moratorium on all new coal mining activity in forest areas till the government sets criteria for inviolate forests (those closed to mining) through a transparent consultative process.The campaigners argue that renewable-energy can power our future as it will be cheaper and a healthier alternative [4]
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.If the project materalized, the forest will be lost. Forests need to be protected.

According to the MoEF note on Mahan, a range of factors go against the allocation of this area for coal mining including its richness of biodiversity. Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh said that he is not clear why such a good quality forest area should be broken up for such a partial requirement. With this the ministry recommended that an alternative coal linkage be provided for the power plants rather than grant approval to the Mahan coal block [6]
Sources and Materials

National environment policy 2006
[click to view]

Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 with Amendments Made in 1988
[click to view]

Convention On Biological Diversity (INDIA)
[click to view]

[click to view]


Singrauli: The Coal Curse

[click to view]


[1] Welcome to Mahan Coal Limited
[click to view]

[2] Indias poisonous coal use set to increase
[click to view]

[3] Villagers in Mahan forest protest marking of trees
[click to view]

[4] Actor Abhay Deol joins protest against coal mining in Singrauli
[click to view]

[5] Upcoming Projects
[click to view]

[6] Mera Bharat aur Mahan
[click to view]

Green Clearance Watch
[click to view]

Villagers in Mahan forest protest marking of trees
[click to view]

[click to view]

Mahan at all costs
[click to view]

Coal mines: Minister pulls up MP for coercing tribals
[click to view]

[click to view]

Media Links

Jungle na milenge dobara
[click to view]

Abhay Deol in Singrauli
[click to view]

Forests vs Coal Mining: Times Now exclusive feat. Abhay Deol
[click to view]

When 1000 people come together to take back what is theirs, you have this!
[click to view]

Junglistan - The Story of the Forest Dwellers (Full Version)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSohan Prasad Sha & Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update11/09/2014