Rourkela Steel Plant, Orissa, India


Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) is located in the north-western tip of Orissa. The plant is located at the centre of a rich mineral belt in Orissa. The plant has a locational advantage in terms of connectivity because it is situated on the Howrah-Mumbai rail mainline and very well connected with most of the important cities of India [1].

See more...
Basic Data
NameRourkela Steel Plant, Orissa, India
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
Metal refineries
Specific CommoditiesLand
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsRourkela Steel Plant (RSP) was set up in 1954 with German collaboration. The plant is located in the mineral rich state Orissa. It is the first integrated steel plant in the public sector in India. The plant has an installed capacity of 1 million tons and was enhanced to 1.9 million tons after modernization in 1990s. Now RSP has the capacity to produce 2 million tons of hot metal, 1.9 million tons of crude steel and 1.67 million tons of saleable steel.

Recently, RSP has taken a massive modernization and expansion plan with an capital investment of around of Rs 12,000 crores that will double its present generation capacity [1].
Project Area (in hectares)8094
Level of Investment (in USD)2,025,181,052 (Rs 12,000 crores modernization plan)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population23,400-25,000
Start Date1954
Company Names or State Enterprises Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Orissa, Ministry of Steel, Government of India

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersRehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC), Adivasi Koordination in Germany (AKD)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationDevelopment of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Food insecurity (crop damage), Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Violations of human rights, Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Land demarcation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Development of AlternativesThe major demand of displaced persons of Rourkela Steel Plant is to return the Land that was acquired. People wanted to return the surplus land (about 14,000 acres) to the original owners.

They have grievances that the ‘land for land’ compensation was not made in proper way. The same quality and quantity of land was not given to the land losers.

The promise given at the time of land acquisition, that the displaced families will be given jobs were not fulfilled and nit given any employment in the steel plant

Beside this the displaced families given land in the resettlement colonies which did not have many basic amenities [5]
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.A question answer session in 2011, raised in the Indian Parliament, Steel Minister said that SAIL has employed about 6,257 displacement at Rourkela Steel Plant [4]

The list of around 2, 200 claims prepared by Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee in 2007 for compensation and job for the people. The RSP authorities have agreed in 2013 to provide employment to the displaced of Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP)

RSP has also agreed to surrender around 1,100 acres of surplus land for establishment of vending zones in a bid to check encroachment and settle the local population. [3]

Despite all these argument, the plant is operating until today and many people have not been compensated.
Sources and Materials

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

Orissa Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy - 2006
[click to view]


[1] About Rourkela Steel Plant
[click to view]

[2] Butu Prasad Khumbhar & Ors vs Steel Authority Of India Ltd. &Ors on 30 March, 1995
[click to view]

[3] Rourkela Steel Plant agrees to recruit 146 displaced persons
[click to view]

[4] SAIL has provided 27,000 jobs to project-affected people: Minister
[click to view]

[5] 50 Years and More Struggle for Justice at Rourkela; Proceedings of the Convention of Displaced Persons "Livelihood or Survival" at Nav Jagriti, Kalunga (near Rourkela) on 6th and 7th March, 2010, Edited & Published, by Displaced Persons' Conference Organising Committee, Rourkela, Orissa with support from ASHRA, sarini and Adivasi-Koordination in Germany 2010
[click to view]

[click to view]

Land Acquisition and Displacement in Western Odisha: An Overview
[click to view]

[6] Environics Trust, "An Assessment of the ROURKELA STEEL PLANT (RSP), INDIA"
[click to view]

Other Documents

Rourkela Steel Plant Source :
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update01/07/2014