Skip to main content

“Forcible” land acquisition in Madhya Pradesh for coal-based power plant: Villagers warn self-immolation

Medha Patkar addressing a village meeting
By Our Representative
Villagers of Madhya Pradesh affected by top industrial house Welspun’s going ahead with acquisition of 1,600 acres for a thermal power plant are showing signs of restiveness. A high-level team led by well-known social activist Medha Patkar, which visited the area, has found that, already, two farmers have committed suicide to show opposition to “land grab”, and many are openly declaring that they would self-immolate.
Proposed to be built in areas around village Bujbuja in Katni district, already, 582.25 acres have been acquired for the 1980 MW thermal power plant. Of this, 314.6 acres come under three villages -- Bujbuja and Dokariya villages. Initially, Welspun was to acquire 2,400 acres, which was scaled down later to 1,600 acres.
A statement issued by the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), the apex body of tens of mass organizations across India, following the visit of Patkar to three of the affected villages, Bujbuja, Khurd and Katni, said “Villagers of Bujbuja have claimed that Welspun has taken over the land forcibly and paid compensation to fake bank accounts against fake documents.”
It added, “The company is continuously stopping villagers from cultivating the land acquired forcibly by digging large pits. Kushwaha families of the village used to grow vegetables and others cultivated three crops every year as a source of their livelihood on these fertile lands. The availability of water resource near the village was a boon.”
Senior activists accompanying Patkar to the affected villages included Dr Sunilam, Advocate Aradhana Bhargava, Jasvinder Singh (CPI-M), Kamla Yadav, Ramashray Yadav, Raghvendra Singh, and Ravindra Singh.
The NAPM said, in all “450 families are going to be affected”, adding, the land acquisition is taking place ignoring “the role of Gram Sabhas by the government.” It claimed, the Gram Sabhas of the affected villages have “rejected the proposal”, so the question of land acquisition does not arise.
Welspun, said NAPM, is not just seeking to acquire land, but also “the easily available water”. It added, the location where the plant is come up is “strategic” as it would help “easier transportation of raw materials”.
Welspun, said NAPM, has “already got the water access approval from Bansagar Dam”, apart from getting “assurance of coal supply”, though it has still made “no plans for appropriate disposal of fly ash.”
NAPM said, “There are many technical faults in the Environmental Impact Assessment report submitted by Welspun. The project site is only 10 km away from the buffer zone of Bandavgarh National Park, which can face ecological damage due to drainage of effluents coming out of the power plant through Mahanadi river.”
During the meeting with villages, it was decided that Gram Sabhas of affected villages would hold emergency meetings and pass “a resolution for not giving away land”, said NAPM, adding, it was also decided that that campaign against the project would be stepped up in nearby rural areas.

Comments

TRENDING

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this.