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Brewery project destroying Jhinkargadi forest in Balarampur village, Odisha, India

Victory for villagers of Balarampur village against a brewery project set to uproot the old sal forest of Jhinkargadi, by women using Chipko tactics, and massive media outreach.


On 17 November, 2018, hundreds of villagers of Balarampur village in Dhenkanal district of central Odisha clashed with the police to prevent felling of sal trees in the old forest of Jhinkargadi which has about 5000 sal trees [1]. The trees were being cut down for a proposed liquor bottling plant by P & A Bottlers Pvt. Ltd. The groundbreaking ceremony of this brewery project worth Rs. 102 crore was conducted by the chief minister Naveen Patnaik on 3 November 2018 through a video conference [2]. The construction of the project was supposed to begin on November 8, 2018 but has been on halt due to ongoing protests to protect and preserve the forest [3].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Brewery project destroying Jhinkargadi forest in Balarampur village, Odisha, India
State or province:Odisha
Location of conflict:Dhenkanal district
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Logging and non timber extraction
Manufacturing activities
Specific commodities:Land
Forest preserved by local community for 4 decades
Project Details and Actors
Project details

P & A Bottlers Pvt. Ltd. has invested 102 crore rupees in a brewery project, requiring 12 acres of sal forest land in Jhinkargadi forest, in Balarampur village, Denkanal district, Odisha. The Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik had performed the groundbreaking ceremony on November 3, 2018, inaugrating the project. The beer factory by the Kolkata-based P&A Bottlers is supposed to have a bottling capacity of 2.5 lakh hectoliters/annum.

Project area:5
Level of Investment:15,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:2000-2500
Start of the conflict:01/01/2014
End of the conflict:18/11/2018
Company names or state enterprises:P & A Bottlers Private Limited from India - Main investor
Relevant government actors:State government of Odisha
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Balarampur Gramya Parichalana Parishad (BGPP). Vasundhara
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Women hugging the trees to prevent them from being logged
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Other Environmental impactsLoss of sal trees (Shorea robusta)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Strengthening of participation
Project cancelled
Withdrawal of company/investment
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:The project was cancelled by the chief minister of the state one day after the massive clash of villagers with the police and district administration who felled more than 900 trees of the ancient sal forest. This was due to massive media attention, involving political actors and social activists, and highlighting the role of the villagers in safeguarding the forest for decades.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

1. Ashok Pradhan. Govt cuts down 500 sal trees in Dhenkanal for building brewery. The Times of India. Published on 18 November 2018
[click to view]

3. Hindustan Times. 18 November 2018. Day after clash, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik orders halt to tree felling for beer factory.
[click to view]

7. The Indian Express. 18 November 2018. Beer plant runs into green lovers
[click to view]

5. The Statesman. 19 November 2018. Odisha: Women perform last rites of trees felled for Dhenkanal beer factory.
[click to view]

8. The Hindu. 18 November 2018. Naveen Patnaik orders probe into tree-felling in Odisha’s Dhenkanal district.
[click to view]

9. Odisha Sun Times. 18 November 2018. Deforestation for beer factory: Odisha CM orders to stop tree cutting.
[click to view]

10. The Hindu. Satyasundar Barik. 19 November 2018. Victory for Odisha's Balarampur residents as CM Naveen Patnaik cancels brewery project.
[click to view]

6. Asian Age. Akshaya Kumar Sahoo.18 November 2018. Odisha fells nearly 1,000 old trees for beer factory
[click to view]

4. The Hindu. Satyasundar Barik. A New Chipko in Odisha.
[click to view]

2. Indian Express. 3 November 2018. Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik performed groundbreaking ceremony for 15 industrial units worth Rs 1807.92 crore
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Coverage of the tree felling by Odisha TV
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Brototi Roy
Last update23/11/2018
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