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Chutka Nuclear Power Plant, India


In 2009, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) has decided to set up an atomic station in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh to generate 1,400 MW power. Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) are the nodal agency to facilitate the execution of the project.

Several organisations and political parties had earlier raised voice against the proposed 1400MW nuclear power plant at Chutka. Most of the affected people are tribals, who were earlier displaced by the 'Bargi Dam'. They are now expected to be displaced again by the proposed nuclear power plant. The people are alleging that the Union and State government have joined hands to proceed with the project ignoring its dangerous consequences. A number of organisations from Bhopal, Jabalpur and elsewhere stood in solidarity with the struggle and campaigned at the grassroots level by organising street plays, poster exhibition and meetings and distributing booklets and handbills with information about nuclear power plants and their disasters elsewhere in the world.

Three Gram Sabhas – Patha, Kunda and Tatighat (Chutka is in one of these) – passed resolutions rejecting the government proposal to set up the nuclear project in their area. According to the Indian law, Mandla District being in Schedule V, rejection by Gram Sabhas means that the project has to be withdrawn, as it is happening in Niyamgiri, Odisha in the case of Vedanta Aluminium.

The protest against Chutka nuclear power plant has crystallised into a strong voice against the nuclear power programme of India. It has also raised question on the bankrupt development paradigm that promotes uninhibited and inequitable consumption of power and also on the role of global corporate capital in pushing nuclear power projects in India.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Chutka Nuclear Power Plant, India
State or province:Madhya Pradesh
Location of conflict:Chutka, District-Mandla
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict: 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:

Project Details and Actors

Project details:

The base cost of the two 700-megawatt pressurised heavy water reactors at Chutka village was Rs 11,250 crore on June 2011. The estimated cost to complete both units is Rs 16,550 crore.

Project area:497.73
Level of Investment:$2.5 billion
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2000-2500
Start of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) from India
Madhya Pradesh Power Generating Company Limited (MPPGCL) from India
Relevant government actors:Government of India, Union Ministry of Environment and Forest, Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:(Organisations involved in the anti-Chutka Nuclear Project campaign are Chutka Paramanu Sangharsh Samiti, Gondwana Gantantra Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Jan Sangharsh Morcha, All India Students Federation, All India Revolutionary Students Organisation, Revolutionary Youth Federation of India, Shiksha Adhikar Manch Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, WSS and others)

Conflict and Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Land occupation
Media based activism/alternative media
Street protest/marches

Impacts of the project

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Genetic contamination, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, 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
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place


Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:Most villagers are aware of the project. They are apprehensive they will not get proper compensation. They also want better health services and transportation facilities. They said project authorities should regulate drinking water supply, which is a primary need of the villagers.
Nevertheless, the campaign has raised six demands from the government which include, 1) Immediate cancellation of all nuclear power projects in India including Chutka Nuclear Power Project, 2) Scrapping of country’s nuclear energy programme and safe dismantling of the existing nuclear reactors, 3) Immediate halt of uranium mining activities in India, 4) Putting in public domain all information related to country’s nuclear energy programme, 5) Stopping wasteful and luxury use of power and ensuring its equitable distribution and use, 6) Development of non-polluting power resources on participatory basis without any commercial motive or profiteering.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Gond tribals and anti-nuclear activists took out a celebratory rally here after a public hearing, on the Chutka Nuclear Power Project was indefinitely postponed by the Mandla Collector on 29th July 2013.
Protests are generally making the government cancel public hearings scheduled around the site in the last months, but the project has not been scrapped yet.

Sources and Materials

Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Land Acquisition act (1884) now repealed with new act with effect to August 2013

Forest Right Act

Panchayet Extension to Schedule Area act 1996

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Chutka: People’s agitation forces the govt to cancel EIA hearing - See more at:

Flag off from Jabalpur

Controversy looming large over Chutka nuclear project

NPCIL says Chutka n-power plant safe

Gonds rally round fellow tribals protesting Chutka nuclear plant


People’s Victory Against Chutka (Madhya Pradesh) Nuclear Power Plant: Lokesh Malti Prakash

Locals to disrupt public hearing for nuke project on the Narmada

Toxic Watch

Public Awareness Programme Through Mobile Bus for

Chutka Madhya Pradesh Atomic Power Project, Mandla, MP.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network


Chutka nuclear power resistance song - chalo sath hamare

Chutka Nuclear Power Plant

Chutka power plant march 2012

Meta information

Contributor:Sohan Prasad Sha & Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014