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Chhattisgarh: Villagers Protest Against Public Hearing For Coal Block Awarded To Adani

They said coal mining in the block, located in Tamnar tehsil of the district, will destroy villages in the area.

Raigarh: Over 100 villagers Monday staged a protest against the proposed public hearing for mining in a coal block awarded to Adani Enterprises for development by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd (MAHAGENCO) in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district.

They said coal mining in the block, located in Tamnar tehsil of the district, will destroy villages in the area.

United under the banner of the Mehnatkash Majdoor Kisan Ekta Samiti, residents of nine affected villages took out a march protesting against mining in Gare Palma, sector 2 coal block allocated to MAHAGENCO, said Rajesh Tripathi, a local activist who was part of the demonstration.

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Protesters handed over a memorandum, addressed to the Raigarh collector and the local tehsildar (revenue officer), demanding cancellation of the June 27 public hearing called for taking consent for the coal mining project.

“At least 13 villages will be ruined if mining starts in this area. Villagers do not want to let it happen and leave their ancestral land, Tripathi said.

“Tamnar tehsil falls under the Fifth Schedule area and without consent of the gram sabha concerned, no industry can be set up there. Without taking permission from the gram sabha how can a public hearing be held,” Tripathi said.

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution deals with administration of scheduled areas where tribal communities are in a majority.

The Gare Palma sector 2 coal mine was allotted to MAHAGENCO which has awarded the contract for its excavation and development to Adani Enterprises Ltd, he added.

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According to police, no untoward incident took place during the protest.

The protest by villagers against the proposed public hearing for the coal block was peaceful, said Abhay Singh Bais Station House Officer (SHO), Tamnar.

This is the second Adani Enterprises-linked project which is facing opposition in Chhattisgarh.

Last week, the state government stopped all pre-mining work related to an iron ore site in Dantewada district, which has been awarded to Adani Enterprises for excavation by National Mineral Development Corporation, following protest by local tribals.

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