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Sewa Paper Mill in Gangapur, Orissa, India


Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT) is India’s largest manufacturer of writing and printing (W&P) paper. One of its manufacturing unit ‘Sewa paper Mill’ located in village Gaganapur, Post Office Jeypore District Koraput Orissa - 764 002. This plant produce Easy Print, Bilt Image Copier, Sunshine Maplitho quality paper [1].

People living in peripheral villages of Sewa Paper Mill, alleged that agricultural lands have been damaged by the toxic water released by the paper mill. Villagers have claimed that they have to sustain heavy losses because of untreated effluents released in the surrounding areas.

Agitators also claimed that many times they have approached factory officials to release their waste water through a pipe but to no necessary measures have been taken by the officials [2].

Over 10,000 people of Jeypore block in Koraput district have decided to start a massive campaign against Sewa Paper Mill to protest air and water pollution in the peripheral areas [3].

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Sewa Paper Mill in Gangapur, Orissa, India
State or province:Orissa
Location of conflict:Gangapur
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Industrial waste
Paper Mill

Project Details and Actors

Project details

Sewa Paper Mill produce different types of paper for example; Easy Print, Bilt Image Copier, Sunshine Maplitho the unit has annual production capacity of 65,000 tonns per annum [1]

Project area:121
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:1000-2000
Start of the conflict:18/01/2003
Company names or state enterprises:Ballarpur Group from India
Relevant government actors:Jeypore Sub-collector, Odisha State Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Villagers of Umuri, Phampuni, Kaligam, Dhanpur, Randapali, Amabaguda, Ekamaba, Tankua and Balia panchayat areas

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Street protest/marches
Protesters have locked up the factory gate for an indefinite period if the demand is not fulfilled [2].


Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil contamination, Waste overflow
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, 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
Other Environmental impactsThe waste water of the paper mill is also entering water bodies in the peripheral villages resulting in the death of cattle.
Health ImpactsVisible: Infectious diseases
Other Health impactsVillagers are also suffering from skin infections.
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsThe waste water of the paper mill is also entering water bodies in the peripheral villages resulting in the death of cattle. Villagers are also suffering from skin infections.


Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Development of alternatives:They demand compensation of Rs 10 lakh for an acre of damaged land. Sub-collector (Jeypore) is looking after the grievances of the villagers [2].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Sub-collector (Jeypore) is looking after the grievances of the villagers [2].Crop damage due to effluents of the mill, the Sewa Paper Mill has given compensation to farmers.

Sources & Materials

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Mohanty et. al. Utilization of Paper Mill Effluents for Agriculture in Environmental Pollution and Agriculture ed By Arvind Kumar

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Ballarpur Industries Limited (BILT)

[2] Villagers up in arms against paper mill

[3] Protest against paper mill pollution

Meta information

Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update08/04/2014