Thervoy SEZ, TN, India


A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) has been proposed at Therovy Kandigai village in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. The Village is located about 50 km northwest of Chennai the capital of Tamil Nadu [1].

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Basic Data
NameThervoy SEZ, TN, India
ProvinceTamil Nadu
SiteThervoy Kandigai; District of Tiruvallur
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
Specific CommoditiesWater
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is proposed on about 1,500 acres of 'meikkal poromboke' (wasteland) at Therovy Kandigai village in the Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu. However, the land is rich in herbs, fruits and wildlife and also serves as a catchment area in this village. State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) is responsible to develop the SEZ. A number of global Multinationals are going to start their operations in this SEZ. These include French multinational Michelin, Harsha Glass, Tropical Breweries [1]
Project Area (in hectares)405
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population50,000-1,00,000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesState Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) from India - Owner
Harsha Industries from India
Michelin from France
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Tamil Nadu, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, National Human Rights Commission

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersMovement Against Special Economic Zones in Tamil Nadu, Thervoy Kandigai women's self-help groups, Thervoy Girama Makkal Nala sangam, Dalit Mannurumai Kootamayaippu, National Alliance of People's Movements, Unorganised Workers Federation, Pennurumai Iyyakkam, Association for the Rural Poor

(some political parties also showed solidarity to the movements: AIDMK, DMDK , CPI, CPIM VCK, BSP, and MDMK)

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
Informal workers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Air pollution, Soil contamination
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women
OtherCooptation of NGO sector by private companies [3]
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
Development of AlternativesActivists say that SIPCOT has acquired the land without the consent of the villagers. So they demand the industrial park should stop all construction activities and should be closed [3].

According to the activists, the companies which are located in the park have violated environmental norms.

Mobilizers ask that [3]:

• Immediate Closure of SIPCOT industrial park and the companies coming therein

• using the illegality of abiding by PRI resolution, when Gram Sabha has ruled otherwise,

• against the wishes of public hearing

• without proper pollution control clearance for SIPCOT industrial park and

• no evidence of agreement on handing of Mekkal porombokku land to PRI and JFM committee being cancelled


• Reestablishments of tanks, check dams and trees destroyed

• Dropping of all cases pending against men and women of the village, including false cases foisted by Michellin Tyre company

• Action against perpetrators of violence against our right to protest for our right to grazing land, forest, livelihood and bodily integrity:

• Compensation for loss of livelihoods, livestock, wounds and torture
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite having gone through legal actions and many protests, local residents and supporting social movements did not see their demands beign implemented by the government.
Sources and Materials

SEZ act 2005 india
[click to view]


[2] A Study on the Perceived Loss of Common Property Resources (CPR) By Thervoy Kandigai Villagers, Thiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu.
[click to view]

“Environment and Social Impact Study of the Implementation of an industrial Zone: Thervoy village of Tamil Nadu", by Professor Lakshmanan from Madras Institute of Development Studies
[click to view]


Anbulla kaadu (My beloved forest): Madhumita Dutta
[click to view]

[1] Village refuses to part with forest
[click to view]

[3] Tale Of A Village's Struggle For Survival
[click to view]

[4] Thervoy villagers protest against SEZ
[click to view]

Timeline of the conflict by Integrated Rural Development Society -IRDS (in Spanish)
[click to view]

Multinationals Observatory, Was Michelin involved in human rights abuse in India?
[click to view]

Media Links

Anbulla Kadu (Beloved Forest)
[click to view]

Other Documents

People near Chennai plan protest against industrial estate Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update15/07/2014