SCCL gets nod for new mine, villagers nightmare begins

SCCL has obtained all environmental permissions for the open cast mine in the Sattupalli area.

Khammam: After the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) started getting permissions for the new project, the fears of residents in the project area have gone up.

SCCL has obtained all environmental permissions for the open cast mine in the Sattupalli area. The new open cast mine will work for 13 years and unearth 22 million tons of coal. SCCL management has decided to inaugurate the works within two months.

The land extent of the project area is 435 hectares including 150 hectares of assigned and patta land and 285 hectares of forest land.

There are fears in the minds of not only the evacuees of the project, but also the residents of the surrounding villages.Firstly, the SCCL management as well as the revenue department, which used to look after land acquisition and compensation to the evacuees and implementing R&R package to the displaced persons, is accused of not showing transparency pertaining to the payments. The affected families of the earlier mines in Sattupalli area are still facing problems in getting compensation.

Secondly, there are allegations that the SCCL and revenue officials connived with some elements, who worked in the guise of affected families, and earned more money illegally.

These incidents took place during the land acquisition of the earlier open cast mine projects. There has been no effort to clear the allegations, villagers point out.

There will be no time-bound payment of compensation to the lands and under R&R packages.

Thirdly, the SCCL management is allegedly not fulfilling its assurances pertaining to the protection of environment in the project surroundings. The people of Sattupalli mandal are still complaining that their walls develop cracks due to blasts in the open cast mines.

There are 40,000 plants and trees in the 285 hectares of forest land and wildlife and birds will also be affected with the digging. The SCCL, which has become a major company, has not paid attention to greening the area.

Abdul Ghani, an evacuee of OC Kistaram, said, “SCCL is giving priority to commencing its project as early as possible and not giving any attention to the real problems of the affected families. We know what happened vis a vis problems of affected families in earlier projects.”

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