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Deocha Pachami coal mine project UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The context is the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Birbhum Lok Sabha constituency, West Bengal.

  • The focus is on the proposed Deocha Pachami coal mine project and its implications on the local villagers.

Trinamool Congress's Approach:

  • Trinamool Congress leadership distributed handbills promising "pucca houses" for villagers if they win the Lok Sabha election.

  • The handbill featured Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's photograph and provided fields for villagers to write their names, village names, and phone numbers.

  • A telephone number was given for villagers to express consent to receive a house.


Villagers' Response:

  • Villagers, particularly in Kendrapara in the Bharkata area near the proposed coal mine project, view the handbill with suspicion.

  • Some villagers, like Sushil Murmu, perceive it as an attempt to persuade them to give up their land for the coal mining project.

  • Trinamool flags are displayed in the village, but there is resistance among villagers to relinquish their land.

Overview of the Deocha Pachami Coal Mine Project:

  • The project, valued at ₹35,000 crore, faces protests over land acquisition.

  • It is touted as the largest coal block in India, spanning 12.31 sq. km and encompassing around 12 villages with over 21,000 residents, primarily Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

  • Despite assurances from the Chief Minister, concerns persist regarding forced land acquisition.


Resistance from Villagers:

  • The Gram Sava Sammonnya Hool Committee (GSSHC) insists on the authority of gram sabhas in tribal areas to consent to land acquisition.

  • Villagers like Mukhi Soren emphasize the historical significance of their villages and oppose land acquisition.


Government's Response and Incentives:

  • The State government announced a revised relief and rehabilitation package offering double the market value of land, job opportunities, and individual houses for families willing to surrender land.

  • However, the promised incentives have not swayed many villagers, particularly those affiliated with the GSSHC.

Environmental and Health Concerns:

  • Activists like Udvas Das highlight the environmental impact of stone quarrying in the area to prepare for coal extraction.

  • The pollution from stone quarries has led to health issues, including cases of silicosis among villagers.

  • Local medical facilities are overwhelmed, with doctors advocating for the relocation of the primary health center due to pollution concerns.

Political Dynamics:

  • The Lok Sabha seat of Birbhum is witnessing a competitive race between Trinamool's three-time MP Shatabdi Roy, BJP's Debtanu Bhattachrya, and Left-supported Congress candidate Milton Rashid.


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Deocha Pachami coal mine project UPSC NOTE
Deocha Pachami coal mine project UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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