Gare IV/1 Coal Mine

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The Gare IV/1 coal mine is owned and operated by Jindal Power. The mine supplies coal to the company's 1,000 megawatt Tamnar I Project, which is also referred to as the O. P. Jindal Super Thermal Power Plant in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, India.

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Challenge against the expansion of Jindal's Gare coal mine

A background note on the arrest of two activists opposing Jindal's plans -- Dr. Harihar Patel and Ramesh Agrawal -- notes that Patel is a resident of Gare village who "has been leading the Adivasi Kisan Mazdoor Ekta Sangathan which has been fighting against takeover of people's land due to industrial and mining activities in and around his village." In particular, it points out that Patel had "filed an application against environment clearance granted for setting up of the Gare IV coal mining project (by M/s JSPL) before the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA)."[1] (For more details on the arrest and imprisonment of Patel and Agrawal is available at Imprisonment of two Chhattisgarh activists over opposition to Jindal Power's Tamnar II Project).

Coal washery

Jindal gained approval to establish a coal washery associated with the Gare IV/1 Coal Mine in the Raigarh district of Chattisgarh. On 3 February 2007, the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board (CECB) gave Jindal Power "consent to establish" the coal washery on condition that it obtained environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment & Forests by 30 June, 2007. When the company didn't meet the deadline the secretary of Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board instructed it to halt work. According to a report in the Times of India, the regional office of CECB "was asked to inspect the project site and submit a report within seven days." Nothing happened. Several years later, on behalf of Jan Chetana, Ramesh Agrawal wrote to the minister of environment and forests Jairam Ramesh complaining about the plant and the fact that no public hearing had occurred on the proposal. Jindal Power told the Times of India that the "washery is not operational". Just four days before a public hearing on the project in late October 2010, the CECB's regional officer, John Lakra, inspected the site and stated that on that day "the coal washery was not in operation". Asked whether the construction of the plant was illegal given that they had been instructed to suspend construction, Lakr was uncertain: "Since no inspection had taken place earlier, it cannot be said whether the washery was completed before or after the halt work order was issued," he said. Agrawal told the Timnes of India that "this public hearing is a farce intended to legalise an illegal project."[2]

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References

  1. Ritwick Dutta, "Chained and Handcuffed for speaking up: India’s Environmental Activist lands up in jail for speaking at Public hearing", June 2, 2011. (A html version of the document is here.
  2. Supriya Sharma, "Hearing in the midst of mining a mockery?", Times of India, October 23, 2010.

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