Is Adani enterprises illegally acquiring land for coal mining in Chhattisgarh?

Sarguja district collector deployed a team which reported that Adani Enterprises acquired land allotted to farmers under the Forest Rights Act


Sarguja district administration, Chhattisgarh has reportedly revealed that Adani Enterprises has illegally acquired land that belonged to 32 farmers under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. The company has acquired land in Udaipur tehsil, Ghatbarra village and the Collector is probing the matter. This village is one of the villages around Parsa East Kete Basan coal block. 

Two of these coal mines are associated with Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd of which Adani Enterprises is the Mine Developer and Operator (MDO). The first coal mine has been operational since 2013 and mining has begun there. The other coal mine is supposed to begin in the year 2028 and for this purpose itself, Adani Enterprises seems to be illegally acquiring lands around Ghatbara and Paras villages from farmers by making them sign affidavits and handing out cheques to them in an unlawful manner of land acquisition, in complete disregard and contravention of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The matter was first reported on August 25 in Patrika, a regional newspaper in Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan and Chhattisgarh Van Adhikar Manch wrote complaints to the Chief Minister about this matter. The Chief Ministers Secretariat then informed Sarguja Collector Sanjeev Kumar Jha who deployed a team to look into the matter. A team was constituted comprising Assistant Commissioner of Tribal Welfare, JR Nagvanshi, Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Revenue, Pradeep Sahu and SDO Forests SN Mishra. In the report submitted by the team, it is allegedly mentioned that the farmers have been allocated land in Ghabara under the Forest Rights Act, 2006. 

Even if the land is to be acquired, it can only be lawfully done after the farmers are given appropriate compensation for it and rehabilitated and resettled as per the law. But the due process of law has not been followed here. As per the news report in Patrika, around 15 farmers were made to sign on an affidavit and were handed over a cheque for the land. Until now 32 such instances have come forth.

That is not all, it has been reported by Hindustan Times in February 2019, that the forest land which has been granted preliminary forest clearance by The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of the Union environment ministry for the Parsa coal mine, was declared in 2009 as a “no-go” area because of its rich forest cover.

In March 2020, a notice was issued to NCL a joint venture company between government-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) for not commencing work in an iron ore mine in Dakshin Bastar, Dantewada. Adani Enterprises is the MDO of this mine. What is pertinent to note here is that the forest clearance given for the mine is also being reconsidered by the forest department of the state after the government inquiry which found the gram sabha consent null and void, reported The Wire.


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