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Nandigram Chemical Hub, India


The Government of India introduced the concept of chemical hubs, calling them Mega-Chemical Industrial Estates (MCIES) in 2005, but a year later enlarged it and introduced the concept of Petroleum, Chemicals ad Petrochemicals Investment region (PCPIRs).

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Nandigram Chemical Hub, India
State or province:West Bengal
(municipality or city/town)Nandigram, East Medinipur
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Chemical industries
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Chemical products
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The total area of Nandigram (all 3 blocks) is 413.74 The population of the area was 439,077.11 The estimated area for the project was estimated to be 10,000 acres. However this land is spread over an area of about 60 [4]

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Project area:4,047
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:100000
Start of the conflict:28/12/2006
End of the conflict:2007
Company names or state enterprises:Salim Group, Indonesia from Indonesia - Investor
Relevant government actors:Government of West Bengal National Human Rights Commission of India
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Bhoomi Raksha Committee

Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee / "Committee to Oppose Uprooting from Land" Trinmool Congress Party

Socialist Unity Centre of India

Intellectual persons from West Bengal had raised their voices.
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
translation missing: en.m.mobilizing_groups.fisher_people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of alternative proposals
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Refusal of compensation
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Potential: displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Institutional changes
Court decision (undecided)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of alternatives:The activists and local people were against the land acquisition for the proposed chemical hub. They wanted the project to be stopped.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Nandigram SEZ has been scrapped in 2007. The then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced the shifting of SEZ from Nandigram and took personal responsibility for the Nandigram mayhem [5]

In the 2008 local election, the voters of Nandigram voted against the then Left Front government's policy of industrialisation and cultivable land acquisition. One candidate from the members of resistance committee was elected in the state assembly with huge margins of votes defeated front's candidate.

The villagers were protesting against a move to acquire their land by the West Bengal government for setting up a special economic zone. The Nandigram firing along with the agitation at Singur in Hooghly district against setting up of a small car plant later paved the way for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress to power in the 2011 assembly election with a majority.

A division bench of Calcutta High Court had taken ‘suo moto cognisance’ of the police firing and had ordered a Central Beraue of Investigation (CBI) a central government’s investigating agency to probe for the incident. CBI had submitted a preliminary report after which the High Court termed the firing as unconstitutional and directed CBI to continue with its probe into the incident.

CBI has filed charge sheets in December 2013 for the alleged police firing in March 2007. In one of the charge sheets, CBI named 132 private persons including some villagers but its request seeking sanction to prosecute two police officers. CBI is waiting to get permission from the state government’s permission to go ahead for the investigation against the police officers and the peoples involved [6]
Sources and Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

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

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Executive Summary of the Report: People’s Tribunal on Nandigram
[click to view]

Development of Special Economic Zones in India: Policies and issues edited by Mookkiah Soundarapandian.
[click to view]

Report of NCM Team on its Nandigram Visit
[click to view]

Executive Summary of the Report: People's Tribunal on Nandigram
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Nandigram jitters for CBI team
[click to view]

[click to view]

[4] Nandigram: What Really Happened?: Report Of The People's Tribunal On Nandigram (With CD) [Hardcover]
[click to view]

[1] The Nandigram story till now
[click to view]

[2] Singur, Nandigram Were Way to Writers' for Mamata
[click to view]

[3] Anti-land acquisition stirs in Nandigram, Singur help Mamata win
[click to view]

[5] Nandigram SEZ scrapped
[click to view]

[6] 2007 Nandigram firing: CBI yet to get sanction to prosecute policemen
[click to view]

[7] Down to Earth
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 1 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 2 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 4 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 3 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram genocide (In Bengali)
[click to view]

Other documents

Protest in Calcutta for Nandigram Issue Source:
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update20/05/2014