Gram Sabhas in Chhattisgarh gear up to protest coal mines reallocation

Date of publication: 
27 December 2014

About 20 gram sabhas, falling within the Mand-Raigarh and Hasdeo Arand coalfields, had passed a resolution opposing the fresh allocation of mines

Raipur – Villagers in large numbers in Chhattisgarh have come out against the government’s move to make fresh allotment of more than 12 coal blocks in the state.

“About 20 gram sabhas, falling under Mand-Raigarh and Hasdeo Arand coalfields had passed a resolution opposing the fresh allocation of coal mines,” Alok Shukla, convenor of the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan (CBA), said. The two fields have significant reserves.

About 1,000 villagers from the coal-bearing areas within the two fields recently gathered in Bilaspur under the banner of CBA, a non-government organisation working on environmental issues.

The meeting passed a six-point resolution, demanding no amendment be made to the Coal Nationalisation Act and that the interest of mine workers should be suitably protected. “The Central government should immediately withdraw the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance and the Bill and develop a visionary, people-friendly policy that protects the rights of the ordinary people and lays special emphasis on environment conservation,” the resolution stated.

“The PESA Act of 1996 and Forest Rights Act of 2006 should be honoured and there should be no dilution in the rights obtained through these legislations,” the resolution added.