ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Greening Our Laws

Revising Land Acquisition Law for Coal Mining in India

The Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957 provides minimal social and environmental safeguards, and deviates, in important ways, from India’s general land acquisition law. This article recommends updating land acquisition laws to bring coal under the general purview of the LARR. Sugandha

The coal industry in India saw its genesis in the 18th century. Three centuries of growth have led to the formation of institutional structures designed to support its development. This includes access to loans at preferential rates,1 import bans to shield against the international competition, and lenient time extensions in installing the mandatory air pollution control equipment (Barrows et al 2019). However, among the numerous examples of preferential treatment that the coal sector has received, one of the most overlooked is coal mining projects’ easy access to land, which reduces the cost of developing new coal blocks and significantly overlooks the societal safeguards.

The land acquisition for coal mining is conducted under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act of 1957 (CBAA), which allows the Government of India to exercise significant levels of discretion when acquiring land. The law is historically justified on the grounds of national interest. The land acquisition for general infrastructure projects is conducted under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act, 2013 which has provisions for ensuring social and environmental justice.

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Updated On : 20th Nov, 2022
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