Last update:
2014-06-24

Bhadreshwar Thermal Power Plant, Gujarat, India

Description:

OPG Power Gujarat Private Limited, a subsidiary of London-based firm, OPG Power Ventures PLC has received the in-principle approval to set up a sector-specific special economic zone (SEZ) for power at Bhadreshwar, Mundra, in Kutch district in Gujarat. The firm going set up a 300 megawatt (Mw) (two units of 150 Mw each), coal-based power plant in the SEZ. The company has acquired only part of the required land for the SEZ while it is in the process to acquire additional land. [1, 2] During the protest protesters were arrested following protests against OPGs proposed 300 MW power plant time to time. While in a public hearing for the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) clearance of this proposed thermal power plant was organised in Bhadreshwar in May 2009 with strong protest from over 2,000 people from the affected population. Fishermen, salt-pan workers, pastoralists and farmers from the neighbouring villages participated in a rally prior to the hearing. Protesters submitted a memorandum enlisting their demands to the authority. According to the protesters the area is home to 5,000 fishermen whose only means of livelihood will be affected if the power plant comes up. [3, 4] The National Green Tribunal has put on hold the Bhadreshwar thermal power plant and asked the project proponent, OPG Power Gujarat Pvt Ltd, to stop all works at its 300 MW power plant till it gets the requisite environmental clearance [5].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Bhadreshwar Thermal Power Plant, Gujarat, India
Country:India
State or province:Gujarat
Location of conflict:Village - Bhadreshwar; Taluka - Mundra; District-Kutch
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Other
Other industries
Specific commodities:Electricity

Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The plant will consist of 2x150 MW (Reconfigured from 300 MW) coal based thermal power plant [6]. The company will use a mix of domestic and imported coal. The plant will require a total of 1.5 million tonnes of coal after achieving 240 Mw of capacities. It will import coal directly from overseas miners as well as from the domestic suppliers like Coal India. OPG Power intends to invest around Rs 3,000 crore over a period of three years to increase capacities at Tamil Nadu and Gujarat projects, of which Gujarat project will have investment of about Rs 1600 crore. [1]

Project area:100
Level of Investment:261,500,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000
Start of the conflict:2009
Company names or state enterprises:OPG Power Ventures plc - the company operates power plants in India but is registered in the UK (Isle of Man) and is listed in the London Stock Exchange.
OPG Power Gujarat Private Limited from India
Relevant government actors:Government of Gujarat, Gujarat Pollution Control Board
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Samiti (MASS), Bhadreshwar Salt Association
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Informal workers
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Social movements
Salt-pan workers
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Strikes
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsThough the company plans to install a desalination plant, the entire marine ecology will be endangered, as such promises never materialise [3]
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Other socio-economic impactsThe Randh Bhadreshwar Bander is home to 5,000 fishermen whose only means of livelihood will be affected if the power plant comes up [3]
Nearly 4,000 acres of salt pans in the area within a 10 km radius of the proposed power plant will become unsuitable for use, affecting at least 1,500 families of their traditional means of livelihood. The fly-ash generated will be between 10-28 tonnes, polluting the salt-pans in the area to such an extent that the salt thus produced will be non-consumable [3]
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Under negotiation
Violent targeting of activists
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Development of alternatives:1.The KPGL public hearing should be held at the village itself or close to the project location.
2.Alternate sites must be considered for the project because the place is a major fishing settlement for traditional fisherfolk.
3.Extensive EIA including marine ecology must be done in a rigorous and systematic manner.
4.CSR programme has to be developed in consultation with the local communities likely to be affected by the project [2]
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:Construction had begun at the site without the necessary approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and CRZ clearance. The construction had been challenged at the National Green Tribunal by fisherfolk, salt-pan workers, and local villagers. National Green Tribunal directed that no construction activity should take place with respect to the plant until all approvals are obtained by OPG Power Ventures [7]
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

(OPG)#cite_note-0
[click to view]

[1] OPG Power gets in-principle nod for SEZ in Mundra
[click to view]

[2] Bhadreshwar Thermal Power Project (Adani)
[click to view]

[3] EIA clearance hearing for proposed hermal plant witnesses strong protest
[click to view]

[4] 7 held, freed after faceoff with OPG in Kutch
[click to view]

[5] National Green Tribunal stays thermal power plant in Gujarat
[click to view]

[6] 300 MW Gujrat
[click to view]

OPG Power to invest Rs 3,000 cr in TN, Gujarat over 2 yrs
[click to view]

Setback for OPG Power plant, Kutch,Gujarat
[click to view]

[7] Bhadreshwar power station (OPG)

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

OPG Power Ventures rolls out coal-fired power stations
[click to view]

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Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update24/06/2014
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