Burning Issues

Mining in India

-Compiled by Dr.Susan Sharma

Where is it happening

How it has affected /is affecting environment

What is being Done to salvage the situation

Kudremukh iron Ore has the India 's largest mining and pelletization complex. The mine is located in the Western Ghats ofKarnataka State in the Indian Subcontinent

Opencast mining results in huge amounts of surface earth being runoff into rivers.

In the 2002 monsoon alone, more than 68,000 tons of sediment load was estimated downstream of the KIOCL mining area at Malleswara.

Supreme Court directed KIOCL to wind up its mining activity by 2005

and rejected the company's plea for a 20 year extension and for additional unbroken forestland.

Orissa is rich in bauxite, the mineral that contains aluminum's raw material, as well as coal, limestone, silica, etc. Its mining history began in the 1950s. By 1970, it had 155 working mines and by the early 1990s, 281. By the early '90s, the state's mining industry had gone global. The government of India has approved investments from 13 multinational companies from the U.S. , Australia , the U.K. , South Africa and Canada .

But half-a-century of development has impoverished the Adivasis. Displaced from their land and discriminated against in the industrial job market, they are now fighting to keep their land, their only remaining resource.

Apart from the continuing agitation in Kashipur by Adivasis, the worst fears are for the environment: the Aluminium mine would be located in the catchment area of tributaries of the Indravati river. The fear is that the mining sludge will silt up the Indravati and bury the surrounding Kalahandi district's reservoir, endangering the chronically drought-prone area, not to mention risking human and animal health.

Anti-mining movement in Kashipur is organized and led entirely by the Adivasis, and it has held out for over 10 years. UAIL was a joint venture promoted initially by Norsk Hydro of Norway , Indal and Tata Industries Ltd. Tata eventually withdrew and Alcan ( Canada ) became a joint partner in 1999. Protests are on in Canada too against the project.

Illegal sand mining in Son Gharial Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh

Since the gharials and crocodiles lay their eggs and breed in the sands on the river bank, mining these areas will adversely affect these processes

Villagers inhabiting the 200 villages along the river can become allies in conservation provided their rights and livelihoods are secure, and benefits are seen to be generated.

Illegal sand mining and construction activities in Aravali Hills extending from Rajasthan ,Haryana to Delhi

Aravali Hills act as a natural buffer stopping the Thar deserts from expanding towards the northern agricultural plains and the hill range had been termed as the most eco-sensitive by experts. It has been found that the rapid depletion of ground water in Gurgaon and the nearby region is largely because of the increasing desertification of the Aravalis.

Mining has been stopped by a supreme court order of 2002.

However, implementation of the order has been found lacking and the Supreme Court has now issued contempt notices against senior Haryana Government officials.


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