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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”