Tilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project, India


With India being a country of chronic power deficits, the Government of India has planned to provide power for all by the end of the 11^ Five-Year Plan (2007–2012) and to further increase power generation in the 12^ Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) are a series of ambitious power projects planned by the Government of India, which entail the creation of an additional capacity of at least 100,000 MW by 2012.

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Basic Data
NameTilaiya Ultra Mega Power Project, India
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Specific Commodities
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsJharkhand Integrated Power Limited comprises a 4,000 MW coal fired power project.

The aggregate coal reserves of these mines are around 1.2 billion tonnes and the mine plans envisage a production level of 40 mtpa.

The Tilaiya coal mines are approximately 100 kms from the Tilaiya power plant.

The coal blocks are spread over 4,500 hectares.

Six plants of 660 MW each will be deployed as a part of the project activity.

Over the next 10 years the plant will receive 21 million CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) credits while emitting 240 million tons of CO2.

Project Area (in hectares)123,000
Level of Investment (in USD)3,226,363,600: Rs 20,000-crore
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population40,000-50,000
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesJharkhand Integrated Power Limited (JIPL) from India
Reliance Power Ltd from India
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group from India
North American Coal Corporation Ltd
Relevant government actorsUnion Coal Ministry, Government of India, Government of Jharkhand, Jharkhand Pollution Control Board, Power Finance Corporation
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCentre for Science and Environment (CSE): a non-profit organisation in Delhi, Local Villagers
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
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches
Residents of the area had approached the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a non-profit in Delhi, apprising it about their difficulty in participating in the public hearing held at a far-off place. Following this, CSE, wrote letters to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stating that public hearing for the project is in violation of paragraph 7 of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification of 2006. As per the notification, public hearing should be conducted at or in close proximity to the project site. In response, MoEF sent an urgent mail to the member secretary of the state pollution control board, directing him to look into the matter and make sure that the public hearing took place as close to the project site as possible. Despite MoEF’s direction, the board did not change the venue of the public hearing. This irked the village residents who staged protests during the public hearing [3]
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, 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, Mine tailing spills
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.Residents contend that the Jharkhand Pollution Control Board organized the hearing at a very distant place. The people affected by the project would not be able to participate in it. Authorities defended the allegation that the public hearing could not be conducted at the affected villages due to law and order problem, because the villages are in the Naxalite-affected areas. Despite Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF’s) direction, to conduct public hearing at the nearby locations, the board did not change the venue of the public hearing. This irked the village residents who staged protests during the public hearing [3]

Another core concern was rehabilitation of people who will get displaced. Though Reliance Power has proposed a package of Rs 10 lakh per acre (0.4 ha), it is not willing to make a written commitment [3]

Sources and Materials

Act 1957.pdf
[click to view]

Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act (2013)
[click to view]



(As amended up to 10th May, 2012)


Ultra Mega Power Projects : A Risk Analysis
[click to view]


[1] Tilaiya Coal Mines
[click to view]

[2] Company Overview of Jharkhand Integrated Power Limited
[click to view]

[3] Hazaribagh villages up against Reliance Power
[click to view]

Tilaiya Coal Mines Factsheet
[click to view]

Govt clears coal mining plan of RPowers Jharkhand project
[click to view]

UNFCC approves controversial Reliance power project in Jharkhand
[click to view]

CDM registration
[click to view]

Carbon Watch Unsolicited letter: Review of the Additionality of the CDM Project 4629: Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions Through Super Critical Technology – Jharkhand Integrated Power
[click to view]

Media Links

NDTV India Insight: Why ultra-mega power projects have been a gross failure
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/06/2014