My name is Sukhiram Saw, calling from Kudumkela Panchayat under Chhattisgarh‘s Raigarh district. South Eastern Coalfields Ltd. or SECL, a subsidiary of Coal India Ltd., has already started open cast mining in Jampali area without the consent of gram sabhas/village councils.
For 3 years now, the matter is still pending with the District Collector for Resettlement and Compensation under the Indira Awas Yojna scheme.
People from 2 villages- Jampali and Singhmouza- are being displaced for this coal mine. The district of Raigarh is an adivasi district with special protections around transfer of land, prescribed by the Fifth Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It is also mandatory for communities to be consulted on their rehabilitation under the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act), 1996.The consent of adivasi communities is also mandatory under the Forest Rights Act and specifically referred to in the Environment and Forest Clearances granted to the project. Communities allege that gram sabha consent as specified by both these provisions have not been obtained. Communities affected include Kawar, Gond and Bhuiyan adivasis, and also families from the Yadav pastoral community.Communities here demand that they be consulted and fully rehabilitated and compensated before any further mining takes place.
Environment clearance to the mine was granted on 19 Feb 2014: http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/Form-1A/EC/022120141JampaliOCP_EC.pdf
Environment Impact Assessment report: http://environmentclearance.nic.in/writereaddata/EIA/111312531291299-2008-EIA.pdf
Organisations Jan Chetana and Ekta Parishad raised serious issues with the conduct of an environmental public hearing on 19.2.2010. Issues included a copied Draft Environment Impact Assessment Report, as well as the fact that this was not circulated amongst local communities prior to the public hearing. Despite emphasising these concerns to Ministry of Environment and Forest‘s expert panel, the project was finally granted an environment clearance in February 2014.
The final forest clearance for the project is still pending, and was subject to project authorities meeting conditions. However a letter from the Ministry of Environment in May 15, 2015 indicates that the State Government of Chhattisgarh has not shown how it has complied with several of these conditions.
The Project was granted a conditional forest clearance on 18 December 2013:
Letter from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to the Principal Secretary of Forests, Government of Chhattisgarh:
LISTEN TO VILLAGERS HERE – http://coalscam.org/reports/view/1758#.VZyuYHhn9BU