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Mahuva Movement against proposed Nirma Cement Plant, India


Mahuva is situated in the western coast of Gujarat. Once the land was barren and was prone to salinity ingress. Only 10% of the land was used for cultivation. Measures were taken to check salinity ingress which yielded result and land became cultivable. Now almost 100% land is cultivated. Onion production is quite high. More than 52 dehydration plants of onion are operational here. 5,000 people are directly employed in onion farming. The export of onion earns foreign exchange in tune to cr. In addition to that 18 cotton ginning factories are running.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mahuva Movement against proposed Nirma Cement Plant, India
State or province:Gujrat
Location of conflict:Mahuva, District-Bhavnagar
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 processing
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific commodities:Cement
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Govt.of Gujarat sanctioned to Nirma Ltd. 288 hectares (720 acres) to construct cement factory and 3000 hectares (7500 acres) for limestone mining.

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Project area:3,288
Level of Investment for the conflictive project38,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:45,000
Start of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Nirma Ltd. from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Gujarat, National Green Tribunal, Gujarat High Court, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF, Government of India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Gujarat, Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan), Mahuva Khetivadi Paryavaran Bachao Samiti, Gandhian Chunibhai Vaidya, Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria; MLA Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Thousands of Mahuva farmers agitated against proposed Nirma cement plant continued to camp at Gandhinagar’s Pathikashram ground. The farmers ended their 350-km long foot march in Gandhinagar, and a delegation met Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Soil erosion, 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-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The Supreme Court has asked the company to prove that the land allocated to it in Gujarat to set up a cement plant is wasteland. Otherwise the project should be scrapped.
Finally, this happened in March 2011.
After Nirmas appeal, the case is now under examination by the Green National Tribunal (1).
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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Save Mahuva (Facebook Page)

(1) Down to Earth
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NGT team to visit Nirma cement site, Times of India
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Nirma Andolan,Mahuva
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Other documents

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Other comments:Save Mahuva (Facebook Page)
Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:938
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