Coallateral consolidates research with findings of the Independent People’s Tribunal on the MoU signed between Rajmahal Pahad Bachao Andolan and PANEM Coal Mines (a Joint Venture between EMTA and Punjab State Electricity Boards, now renamed PSPCL) that took place in November 2014 in Ranchi. Since 2006, when the MoU was signed, the only information or news that has come out of Pachwara was of Sr. Valsa John’s murder in 2011. The MoU, then touted as a historic new development in the struggle between communities, the State and private corporations for natural resources disappeared from the imagination of the larger public, while becoming a dismal reality for the people affected by the coal mines. The Tribunal and relating research has brought forward new arguments for the ongoing debates on consent for land acquisition, alternatives, the ownership of natural resources, and the state’s relationships with private companies. In today’s context of coal block de-allocations and the ongoing coal auctions, it also raises alarming questions about the modus operandi utilised by private mining corporations. While the EMTA model, through which the company controlled the third largest amount of coal in the country, is under investigation by agencies such as the CAG as discussed in the report; the newer forms that Public Private Partnerships in mining will take in the future need discussion. The study also documents the discrepancies and irregularities in the allocation of the coal-mines, the trajectory of the andolan, the signing and terms of the MoU, the extent of its implementation, the violation of the Santhal Paraganas Act and its impact on the lives of the Adivasi communities.
The Report was released in Delhi on 6th May 2015 at the Constitution Club, Delhi.
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