The issue of land acquisition for coal mining activities and adequate compensation has been a concern for a long time. Recent data provided by the Union government provides that a total of 13,709.44 hectares of land had been acquired by Coal India Limited in multiple districts of Jharkhand. For the land acquired, a total of 1,043 families were displaced.
On December 13, during the ongoing winter parliamentary session, Chandra Prakash Choudhary raised several questions regarding the rehabilitation of displaced families due to the land acquired for coal mining activities. Through his question, Choudhary inquired about the total land acquired, the number of families displaced, and the compensation and employment provided to those families. Choudhary is a member of the Lok Sabha from Giridih constituency. These questions were presented to Pralhad Joshi, who currently serves as the union minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coals and Mines of India.
In its response, the union minister apprised the Lok Sabha by providing that the total land acquired by Coal India Limited in Kathara, Dhori and Bokaro & Kargali amounts to 13,709.44 hectares. The break up is as follows:
- Kathara – 3765.7 Hectare
- Dhori – 2966.71 Hectare
- B&K – 6977.03 Hectare
The response also provides the number of families displaced by the coal mines in the aforementioned areas totalled to 1,043 families, the breakup for which is as follows:
- Kathara – 83 Project Affected Families
- Dhori – 110 Project Affected Families
- B&K – 850 Project Affected Families
On the issue of employment and compensation, the minister responded by providing that the people who have lost their land are being provided direct employment at the rate of one employment for every two acres of land.
From the above table we can see that, the highest amount of compensation has been given to the people of Bokaro & Kargali whereas the lowest amount of compensation has been given to Dhori. Additionally, the highest number of people who have acquired employment belong to Bokaro & Kargali totalling to 709 whereas the lowest number of people who have acquired employment belong to Kathara totalling to 147.
The minister claimed that there were no cases pending where the necessary documentation is incomplete.
From the table provided above, it can be observed that a total of 12 cases are yet to be given employment in the Bokaro & Kargali area. This is followed by 4 cases of pending employment in the Dhori area. It is claimed that the Kathara area has no pending cases of providing employment. A total of 16 cases of providing employment are pending.
The rehabilitation process for displaced families on GM (Gair-Mazrua) land in Jharkhand has encountered multifaceted challenges. The absence of valid documentation for tenant land claims has led to demands for both house and land compensation, exacerbated by inadequate records and delayed land authentication by the government department. Building a consensus among villagers for the finalization of a rehabilitation site is hindered by disputes over employment claims surpassing established norms, creating internal familial conflicts. Complicating matters further is the resistance from the host community to accommodate displaced individuals at the designated R&R sites, compounded by the reluctance of villagers to relocate near this community. Moreover, the scarcity of suitable land for resettlement sites exacerbates the intricate web of challenges faced in facilitating the relocation and rehabilitation of these affected families.
To expedite the resolution of pending and under process cases, CCL (Central Coalfields Limited) has implemented several key measures. They are actively collaborating with applicants, state government authorities, and village representatives to secure any missing documentation related to employment proposals, ensuring a comprehensive record. Additionally, CCL officials are providing essential support to land losers, facilitating their access to the R&R (rehabilitation and resettlement) benefits. At the operational level, multiple monitoring groups have been established within projects and areas to oversee the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the rehabilitation action plan. These groups engage closely with state authorities throughout the plan’s execution. CCL maintains ongoing communication with affected villagers, engaging in negotiations aimed at achieving mutually agreeable solutions, thereby demonstrating a commitment to resolving these pending cases.
The complete answer can be read here: