Nandigram Chemical Hub, India


The Government of India introduced the concept of chemical hubs, calling them Mega-Chemical Industrial Estates (MCIES) in 2005, but a year later enlarged it and introduced the concept of Petroleum, Chemicals ad Petrochemicals Investment region (PCPIRs).

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Basic Data
NameNandigram Chemical Hub, India
ProvinceWest Bengal
SiteNandigram, East Medinipur
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Chemical industries
Manufacturing activities
Specific CommoditiesLand
Crude oil
Industrial waste
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe total area of Nandigram (all 3 blocks) is 413.74 The population of the area was 439,077.11 The estimated area for the project was estimated to be 10,000 acres. However this land is spread over an area of about 60 [4]

Nandigram was chosen as a chemical hub because of the place’s strategic location. The area located near Haldia, port. The proposed chemical hub was created in 2006 through the SEZ Act of 2005. Salim Group of Indonesia was given responsibility by the then left front government of West Bengal. However, due to heavy resistance from the local people and also from other corner of the society government decided to scrap the project in 2007 [5].
Project Area (in hectares)4,047
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population100000
Start Date28/12/2006
End Date2007
Company Names or State EnterprisesSalim Group, Indonesia from Indonesia - Investor
Relevant government actorsGovernment of West Bengal National Human Rights Commission of India
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBhoomi Raksha Committee

Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee / "Committee to Oppose Uprooting from Land" Trinmool Congress Party

Socialist Unity Centre of India

Intellectual persons from West Bengal had raised their voices.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Landless peasants
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBoycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Land occupation
Public campaigns
Property damage/arson
Referendum other local consultations
Refusal of compensation
Media based activism/alternative media
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession
Potential: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseInstitutional changes
Under negotiation
New legislation
Court decision (undecided)
Project cancelled
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Withdrawal of company/investment
Development of AlternativesThe activists and local people were against the land acquisition for the proposed chemical hub. They wanted the project to be stopped.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The Nandigram SEZ has been scrapped in 2007. The then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced the shifting of SEZ from Nandigram and took personal responsibility for the Nandigram mayhem [5]

In the 2008 local election, the voters of Nandigram voted against the then Left Front government's policy of industrialisation and cultivable land acquisition. One candidate from the members of resistance committee was elected in the state assembly with huge margins of votes defeated front's candidate.

The villagers were protesting against a move to acquire their land by the West Bengal government for setting up a special economic zone. The Nandigram firing along with the agitation at Singur in Hooghly district against setting up of a small car plant later paved the way for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress to power in the 2011 assembly election with a majority.

A division bench of Calcutta High Court had taken ‘suo moto cognisance’ of the police firing and had ordered a Central Beraue of Investigation (CBI) a central government’s investigating agency to probe for the incident. CBI had submitted a preliminary report after which the High Court termed the firing as unconstitutional and directed CBI to continue with its probe into the incident.

CBI has filed charge sheets in December 2013 for the alleged police firing in March 2007. In one of the charge sheets, CBI named 132 private persons including some villagers but its request seeking sanction to prosecute two police officers. CBI is waiting to get permission from the state government’s permission to go ahead for the investigation against the police officers and the peoples involved [6]
Sources and Materials

Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013
[click to view]


Executive Summary of the Report: People’s Tribunal on Nandigram
[click to view]

Development of Special Economic Zones in India: Policies and issues edited by Mookkiah Soundarapandian.
[click to view]

Report of NCM Team on its Nandigram Visit
[click to view]

Executive Summary of the Report: People's Tribunal on Nandigram
[click to view]


Nandigram jitters for CBI team
[click to view]

[click to view]

[4] Nandigram: What Really Happened?: Report Of The People's Tribunal On Nandigram (With CD) [Hardcover]
[click to view]

[1] The Nandigram story till now
[click to view]

[2] Singur, Nandigram Were Way to Writers' for Mamata
[click to view]

[3] Anti-land acquisition stirs in Nandigram, Singur help Mamata win
[click to view]

[5] Nandigram SEZ scrapped
[click to view]

[6] 2007 Nandigram firing: CBI yet to get sanction to prosecute policemen
[click to view]

[7] Down to Earth
[click to view]

Media Links

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 1 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 3 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 4 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram Genocide: A Living Testament (Part 2 of 4)
[click to view]

Nandigram genocide (In Bengali)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protest in Calcutta for Nandigram Issue Source:
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update20/05/2014