Please zoom in or out and select the base layer according to your preference to make the map ready for printing, then press the Print button above.

Athena power plant by ACPL, Chhattisgarh, India


Description:

Athena Chhattisgarh Power Limited (ACPL) is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for developing and implementing a domestic coal based Thermal Power Project [1]. ACPPL is a group of Hyderabad-based Athena Power Private Limited (APPL) and has planned to set up two units of 600 MW each in Singhatarai village of Janjgir-Champa district [2]. Athena Chhattisgarh Power Limited has signed an implementation agreement with Government of Chhattisgarh (GoC) for the development of the project. Coal linkage for part of the project capacity has been granted. The site proposed belongs to a fertile district, with more than 80% of irrigated land. Road and rail connection is good, due to the fact that it is very closed to Kobra district; this latter is sadly known for being one of the most polluted areas in the country and this was due to mining and industrial activities. This led to a moratorium being imposed there by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on any further environment clearances being granted in that region. The interests now are converging towards the neighboring Janjgir-Champa. The state government has signed around 34 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for thermal power plants slated to produce around 34,000 MW— almost onefourth of India’s current thermal power production and enough to feed all of north or south India.

The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) had earlier granted approval to the ACPL project. The matter was challenged in the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) by the Ngo Jan Chetanaa. The group challenged the environmental clearance on the ground that the MoEF approved the project without considering the mandates of public hearing. The Public Hearing was held on January 15, 2009 but was later cancelled by the chairperson in view of the documents not being made available to the affected public [2] However, the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) went through the video recording of the Public Hearing and was convinced that there was discrepancy in what was recorded in the minutes of the public hearing and what was spoken in public by the officials. In fact, it was observed that there was massive opposition of the public to the project. Based on the complaint coupled with evidence, the NEAA stayed the clearance [2]; in November 2009 the NEAA issued a one-page order stating that the proceedings of the public hearing did not have any validity. The NEAA then quashed the environmental clearance for the project on March 8, 2010.

On April 5, 2010, the public hearings were held again, but 25-30 km away from the project site. Only 10-15 villagers were able to attend the meeting. On June 4, 2010, the project received Environmental Clearance [3]

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Athena power plant by ACPL, Chhattisgarh, India
Country:India
State or province:Chhattisgarh
Location of conflict:Village - Singhatarai; District- Janjgir-Champa
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
Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal
Electricity

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The plant is planned to be developed in one stage with a total generation capacity of about 1,200 MW. The project configuration will be two units of about 600 MW each.

Project area:400
Type of populationRural
Company names or state enterprises:Athena Chhattisgarh Power Limited (ACPL) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Chhattisgarh
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Jan Chetanaa

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) went through the video recording of the Public Hearing and found that there was massive opposition of the public to the project, which was not taken into account for the environmental clearance.
The Public Hearing held on 5th April, 2010 took place far away from the planned project area, preventing peoples participation. The Environmental Clearance received in June 2010 is therefore questionable.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy 2007
http://www.dolr.nic.in/NRRP2007.pdf

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

How To Destroy A District
http://www.tehelka.com/how-to-destroy-a-district/

[3] Athena Chhattisgarh power station
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Athena_Chhattisgarh_power_station

[2] Environment body cancels clearance to Athena Chhattisgarh Power
http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/environment-body-cancels-clearance-to-athena-chhattisgarh-power-109112400077_1.html

[1] Athena Chhattisgarh Power Limited (ACPL) Project Details
http://www.ath-chhattisgarh.in/details.html.

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update20/07/2014

Images