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Lanco Babandh power station, Dhenkanal, Orissa, India


Lanco Babandh Power is a coal fired thermal power project with two supercritical units of 660 MW each, located in Dhenkanal District, Orissa [1] Lanco was one of the Independent Power Producers (IPPs). They had signed MOUs with the state government in 2006. The company was assured by the government that about 500 acres of tenancy land had been acquired out of total requirement of more than 1100 acre without going for land [2].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Lanco Babandh power station, Dhenkanal, Orissa, India
State or province:Orissa
Location of conflict:Village- Kharagprasad; District- Dhenkanal
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Thermal power plants
Specific commodities:Coal
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Project area:607
Level of Investment:726,000,000: INR 4500 Crore
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:10,000-20,000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Lanco Babandh Power Limited from India
Relevant government actors:State Pollution Control Board, Orissa, Government of Orissa
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Villagers of Kurunti (Local Villagers), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Informal workers
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
The villagers have filed a court case in the High Court of Orissa, Cuttack.
They have send petition signed by about 10,000 people to different officials including the Prime Minister of India, Chief MInister of Orissa etc [5].
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, 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, Mine tailing spills
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnder construction
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Negotiated alternative solution
New legislation
Under negotiation
Development of alternatives:The government order not to acquire ayacut land. This has disappointed the company authorities who feel discriminated. They are of the view that if another thermal power plant (GMR) in a nearby location is allowed to acquire 455 hectare of ayacut land, then why they should be barred to do so [3]
Local people strongly protest the proposed project and do not want another polluting factory in the area. They threat to heavy protest if these kind of projects given permission [5].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Lanco had signed MOUs with the state government in 2006. Acquisition work has hit a road block as most of this remaining land come under the ayacut (irrigated) area of Rengali Irrigation Project. The state government has directed Dhenkanal district administration not to acquire or allow direct purchase of ayacut land till permission is granted. The state Water Resource department had come under severe criticism from different quarters, particularly the local BJP leadership, over its permission to allow Company to acquire ayacut (irrigated) land [3]
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

[click to view]

Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013

The Land Acquisition Act, 1894
[click to view]

The Schedule Tribe and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act 2006
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

State Pollution Control Board, Orissa
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Lanco Babandh Power Ltd
[click to view]

[2] Lanco power project delayed due to land problems
[click to view]

[3] Babandh power station
[click to view]

[4] Centre to decide on Lancos Orissa project
[click to view]

P (C) No. 27302 of 2011 Energy Deptt DM Dhenkanal.pdf
[click to view]

[5] In the High Court of Orissa: Cuttack Ranjit Nayak &others Vs State of Orissa & others

Centre to take decision on Lanco’s Dhenkanal project soon
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Swapan Kumar Patra
Last update20/07/2014
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