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Nawalgarh Special Economic Zone, RJ, India


Description

Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd. (RIICO) planned to set up a Special Economic Zone in Nawalgarh District of Rajasthan. Accordingly, in 2007 the state government notified 5,769 hectares of land for three major cement producing companies for their plants and auxiliary mines. It granted over 4,600 ha to Ultratech Cement of Aditya Birla Group, 780 ha to Shree Cement of Rajasthan and 825 ha to India Cements of Chennai [1].

Government had notified the land as barren land. However, many people depend on the agricultural products from the land. Farmers and local people have been continuously protesting against this land acquisition and other issues since 2010. Villagers formed “Bhoomi Adhigrahan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti” for spearheading the land acquisition movement. The government has announce the compensation amount and even these companies can directly purchasing land from the farmers. Farmers alleged the compensation amount is not adequate and also not properly distributed. According to the protesting organization, beside the agriculture, the natural habitat of many wild animals will be severely affected if the industrialization took place. For example, Peacocks, the national bird of India are the natural habitant of the area. These birds will be extinct if the proposed industrialization takes place [2] The project would adversely affect the natural resources and environment of this area. That is the reason behind this massive protest by the farmers [1] Many middleman have acquired land at a throw away price. They adopt illegal and illegitimate way to acquire the land and sell it to the companies with huge profit margins. Government is not looking after these issues [2] A protesting organization ‘Nawalgarh Kisan Sangharsh Samiti’ along with farmer representatives, wrote a petition to the Union Ministry of Mines to cancel the land acquisition notification. With the petition, the Mines ministry set up a tribunal. The tribunal said the land acquisition notification was in contravention of the Mineral Concession Rules of 1960. According to the rule, companies need to get the consent of land owners before the government issues notification. Accordingly, the tribunal cancelled the notification in July 2009. The companies challenged the Tribunal’s decision in the Rajasthan High Court. The High Court ruled in the Company’s favour. Nawalgarh Kisan Sangharsh Samiti decided to move the high court and planned to call Mahasabha (large meeting of many villagers). The protesting organizations said that they will not give consent for the acquisition and may go for other means (may be violent) of protest [1].

With the people’s protest India Cement Ltd. has abandoned the project. The organizations stressed that they will continue this mass movement till the other two companies stop their plans and projects. The farmers have met the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot five times and submitted their memoranda. However, they did not get any assurance from the Chief Minister [2].

Basic Data

NameNawalgarh Special Economic Zone, RJ, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceRajasthan
SiteDistrict - Nawalgarh
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
Other industries
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesLand
Cement

Project Details and Actors

Project DetailsLand of about 20 villages of Nawalgarh block is being acquired for proposed cement factories. Ultra Tech of Birla Group, Shree Cement of Bangur Group, ICL of Srinivasan Group are 5,769 hectres of land to be acquired for their projects [2].
Project Area (in hectares)5,769
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population75,000-100,000
Start Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesUltra Tech Cement (Ultra Tech) from India
Shree Cement from India
India Cement Ltd from India
Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation Ltd. (RIICO) from India
Aditya Birla Group from India
Bangur Group from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Rajasthan

Ministry of Mines, Government of India

Rajasthan High Court

Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBhoomi Adhigrahan Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti

Rajasthan Bijli Kisan Union (RBKU).

Nawalgarh Kisan Sangharsh Samiti

The Conflict and the Mobilization

Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Social movements
Women
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of alternative proposals
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Hunger strikes and self immolation

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place

Outcome

Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Court decision (failure for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Withdrawal of company/investment
One of the three companies withdrew for the people's protests.
Development of AlternativesThe proposed land marked for the cement factories are rich in agriculture and have potential for increasing agricultural activity. If government support agriculture by giving loans to farmers arranges irrigation facilities etc., conditions would improve in this area.

However the government is not very keen to do this [2].
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project would adversely affect the natural resources and environment of this area. Also, land has been acquired in illegal matters.

The High Court ruled in the Company’s favour.

The protesting organizations said that they will not give consent for the acquisition and may go for other means (may be violent) of protest [1]. With the people’s protest India Cement Ltd. has abandoned the project. The organizations stressed that they will continue this mass movement till the other two companies stop their plans and projects.

Sources and Materials

Legislations

SEZ Act, 2005
http://sezindia.nic.in/writereaddata/pdf/SEZ%20Act,%202005.pdf

The Rajasthan Tenancy (Amendment) Bill, 2010
http://rajassembly.nic.in/BillsPdf/Bill23-2010.pdf

Links

[1] Curse of limestone
http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/curse-limestone

[2] Nawalgarh Nandigram of Rajasthan Special Economic Zone Turns into Special Suffering Zone
http://www.eng.chauthiduniya.com/nawalgarh-nandigram-of-rajasthan-special-economic-zone-turns-into-special-suffering-zone/#sthash.H6sV0ctF.dpuf

[3] RIICO fails to Cement Project
http://dnasyndication.com/dna/article/DNJAI32653

Media Links

A farmer who sold his land and house now regrets and complains that he was cheated by the Shri Cement company
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dijUwB4ZhIs

Other Documents

Special Suffering ZOne Source: http://www.eng.chauthiduniya.com/nawalgarh-nandigram-of-rajasthan-special-economic-zone-turns-into-special-suffering-zone/
https://file.ejatlas.org/docs/nawalgarh-nandigram-of-raja.jpg

Meta Information

ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update15/10/2014

Images

 

Special Suffering ZOne

Source: http://www.eng.chauthiduniya.com/nawalgarh-nandigram-of-rajasthan-special-economic-zone-turns-into-special-suffering-zone/