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Bhushan Power and Steel Limited, Jharkhand, India


Bhushan Steel and Power Limited signed a MoU with the Jharkhand government on 7 September, 2006 for establishing an integrated steel plant of 3 Mt. This project includes a 900 MW captive power plant. The estimated cost of the project was 10,500 crore. The plant was inaugurated on May 16, 2010 [1, 2].

Even before the inauguration a strong People’s Movement against the land acquisition is going on at Potka of East Singbhum district in Jharkhand. Consequently, the company was unable to materialize its project [1] During a public hearing (which is mandatory for inauguration of any project) villagers were reluctant of give up their land. They claimed that their land has been forcefully taken in violation of the CNT Act (CNT Act restricts transfer of land belonging to Scheduled Tribes/Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes to others) [3] and Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution [2]. Villagers have submitted memorandum to the concerned officers of Jharkhand government informing them about their opposition. Beside the boycott of the public hearing, the protesting villagers also called for strike in opposition of the project [4].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Bhushan Power and Steel Limited, Jharkhand, India
State or province:Jharkhand
Location of conflict:Village- Potka, District- East Singhbhum
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
Mineral processing
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Land
Iron ore

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

Bhushan Power and Steel Limited planned a steel and power plant project in village - Potka District - East Singhbhum, Jharkhand. The estimated initial investment of the project was Rs 10,500 crore. For the project and also for other purpose, like housing and other infrastructure, the company requires about 3,200 acres of land, of which 2,792 acres would be provided by the state government and rest other will acquire by the company directly from the land owners. The plant will get water from Subernarekha and Kharkai and power from NTPC’s Ramchandrapur-grid at Gamharia located at Seraikela-Kharsawan district. Once completed, the plant will produce about three million tonne per annum (MTPA) steel and a 900MW power for its own plant. According to the company source, the plant will generate direct employment to over 10,000 people. Beside this the company will also train about 150 local youths for work in the company. The company claimed that once it start the steel plant will follow all pollution control standards and norms [5].

Project area:1295
Level of Investment:1,784,051,174 (Rs 10,500 crore)
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:07/09/2006
Company names or state enterprises:Bhushan Power and Steel Limited from India - Owner
Relevant government actors:Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB), Government of Jharkhand
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Visthapan Virodhi Ekta Manch (Unity Forum Against Displacement), ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA), Bhumi Raksha Vahini Kisan Morcha, Various Gram Sabha (Village Committees)

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Land occupation
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Referendum other local consultations
Street protest/marches

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, 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
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Violations of human rights, Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Negotiated alternative solution
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of alternatives:The protestors demanded the cancellation of public hearing and also the scrapping of the project. The proposed project area is a tribal area and fall under the 5th Schedule of Indian Constitution. The area also falls under the provision of CNT Act (Chotanagpur Tenancy Act). So any land transfer to nontribal is illegal. Hence the project is a clear violation of rules [2].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Local tribal population (adivasis) and others are now struggling to save their land, water and culture. The protesting masses have found that government officials have become corrupt and are in favor of the establishment of the plant by the company. Government officials are not listening their grievances. Some of the village heads are also in favor of plant because they are bribed. This left villager to deal with the situation in their own [4].

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Chotanagpur Tenancy Act

FIFTH SCHEDULE [Article 244(1)]

Provisions as to the Administration and Control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Potka, Jharkhand: Another Bloodbath is on the Way

[3] Chotanagpur Tenancy Act: What next

[4] A Struggle to Save Their Land, Water and Culture Adivasis Impose Janta Curfew

[5] Rs 10500cr fillip for Potka

Public Hearing on Sept 24 in Potka, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand

[2] Iillegal public hearing on Bhushan Power & Steel Ltd project at Jharkhand’s Potka, East Singbhum stopped by villagers

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Public Hearing of Bhushan Steel Plant, East Singbhum, Jharkhand

Other documents

A Struggle to Save Their Land, Water and Culture Adivasis Impose Janta Curfew Source :

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update30/05/2014



A Struggle to Save Their Land, Water and Culture Adivasis Impose Janta Curfew

Source :