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9 Jul 2020

Stephen Long, ABC News Australia

India: Court action claiming coercion and unjust land acquisition initiated to stop development of Adani's Godda coal power plant

"Adani power plant and coal plans threatened by land owner court action", 10 July 2020

...It is more than 8,000 kilometres from Godda to the Galilee Basin in Queensland.

Yet the two districts are entwined: coal from Adani's Carmichael mine, currently being built in Australia's last untapped coal region, is expected to supply fuel for the power plant at Godda.

That's if the plant goes ahead. It's at the centre of a major land rights battle.

The case filed with the court accuses Adani and its agents of using "coercion, fraud [and] undue influence" to illegally exclude thousands of people affected by the development from a required social impact assessment...

In a highly unusual move, Adani posted [a] statement on Twitter in answer to the ABC's questions at roughly the same time as it sent it to the ABC, well ahead of publication.  

...Adani and its supporters argue that the project has a noble, humanitarian purpose because it will be supplying electricity to Bangladesh, one of the world's poorest nations, thus enriching the lives of its citizens.

That proposition is utterly rejected by critics who argue the electricity will be expensive — far higher than Bangladesh would pay if it simply purchased electricity from India on the open market.

...Meanwhile, those fighting the project face a race against time; the High Court case, and a separate environmental challenge before India's National Green Tribunal — scheduled for hearings in early August — will be of no consequence if construction reaches a point where the development becomes a fait accompli...