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Chhattisgarh HC junks petitions challenging land acquisition for coal mining

The Chhattisgarh HC (High Court) on Wednesday dismissed petitions challenging the acquisition of land for the Parsa coal block

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New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh HC (High Court) on Wednesday dismissed petitions challenging the acquisition of land for the Parsa coal block spread across Surajpur and Sarguja districts of the state under a 1957 Act for Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (RRVUNL), the company to which it has been allocated for mining.

The land for the coal mining project has been acquired under provisions of the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957.

“Apart from the gross delay in approaching the court, there being no merit in these petitions, the petitions deserve to be dismissed and accordingly, the same are dismissed,” said the court in its order.

The matter was heard by a division bench of HC Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami and Justice Rajendra Chauhan Singh Samant.

Five petitions challenging the acquisition of land for the Parsa coal block under the Act for the respondent (RRVUNL) was filed by residents of villages Tara, Janardanpur (Surajpur district) and Fatehpur, Ghatbara, Hariharpur, Salhi (Surguja district).

During hearing on the petitions, Dr NK Shukla, senior counsel appearing for RRVUNL and Parsa Kente Collieries Ltd, submitted that non-coal bearing land is required for ancillary use of infrastructure and overburden (OB) dump area, among other activities.

“Acquisition of land under the CB (Coal Bearing) Act is not controlled or superseded by the Act of 2013 in view of section 105 read with the Fourth Schedule of the Act of 2013 (related to compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement),” he said.

However, in view of the promulgation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2015, the provisions of the Act of 2013 would apply to the CB Act, Shukla said.

(With agency inputs)

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