Jharkhand’s focus on clean drinking water through District Mineral Foundation (DMF) commendable, but much more needs to done for mining-affected people on many critical fronts: says first independent assessment of the scheme done by CSE | Centre for Science and Environment


Jharkhand’s focus on clean drinking water through District Mineral Foundation (DMF) commendable, but much more needs to done for mining-affected people on many critical fronts: says first independent assessment of the scheme done by CSE

Report also finds that there are shortfalls on various fronts, from institutional and administrative issues, to planning and budgetary allocations

 

  • Jharkhand is one of the top three states in terms of DMF collection until the end of the 2016-17 financial year with a cumulative accrual of Rs. 1056.2 crore, along with Chhattisgarh (total collection Rs. 1042 crore) and Odisha (total collection Rs. 1933 crore).

  • Five biggest districts in Jharkhand in terms of DMF accrual are Dhanbad (Rs. 285 crore), West Singhbhum (Rs. 214 crore),  Godda (Rs, 149 crore), Chatra (Rs. 124 crore) and Ramgarh (Rs. 120 crore)

  • The state government has played a key role asking districts to focus on drinking water and making villages open defecation free (ODF) . All districts have also been asked to plan for three times the estimated annual accrual.

  • CSE analysis highlights the allocations in Dhanbad and West Singhbhum. In keeping with the state directive, both districts have made biggest allocations for drinking water supply – 62.5% in Dhanbad and 60.7% in West Singhbhum.

  • CSE analysis emphasizes that the districts must simultaneously focus through proper planning on crucial issues such as healthcare, women and child development, education and viable livelihood opportunities

  • The administration is dominated by government officials with poor representation of people. DMFs have been functioning without a fixed administrative set-up, such as an office for planning and co-ordination, relying on intermittent meetings of the DMF body

  • DMF instituted in March 2015 under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, with the aim of giving mining-affected people in India a share in the benefits from mining

  • Has the potential to pull India’s poorest districts out of their depths of poverty, by kick-starting much needed development and services delivery in them

  • CSE has surveyed 50 key mining districts in the country, spread across 11 states

  • The collected total of Rs 5,800 crore is not from all the mining districts – hence, the potential corpus is still higher, as in certain states such as Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh DMFs are yet to be rolled out

New Delhi, June 13, 2017: “DMF is a defining opportunity to overturn the decades of injustice meted out to the thousands of people living in deep poverty and deprivation in India’s mining districts,” said CSE deputy director general Chandra Bhushan, releasing the Centre’s latest study on the status of District Mineral Foundation. The study was released in New Delhi on 8th June.

Established as a non-profit Trust, DMFs in every mining district have the precise objective to work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining related operations. The CSE report is an independent review of the progress and performance of DMFs in various mining districts of India including Jharkhand. The report finds that there are shortfalls on several fronts including institutional and administrative issues, to planning and budgetary allocations.

The realities of Jharkhand allocation

Jharkhand is one of the top three states in terms of DMF collection until the end of the 2016-17 financial year with a cumulative accrual of Rs. 1056.2 crore. The other two are Chhattisgarh (Rs. 1042 crore) and Odisha (Rs. 1933 crore). The Five biggest districts in Jharkhand in terms of DMF accrual are Dhanbad (Rs. 285 crore), West Singhbhum (Rs. 214 crore),  Godda (Rs, 149 crore), Chatra (Rs. 124 crore) and Ramgarh (Rs. 120 crore).

The state government has played a key role asking districts to focus on drinking water and making villages open defecation free (ODF) . All districts have also been asked to plan for three times the estimated annual accrual.

Drinking water is a pressing concern in most mining districts in the state, due to heavy contamination, a recognized concern by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). Lack of treated water supply and a receding water table has only compounded the compounded the woes of people in mining affected areas. The two districts surveyed by CSE, Dhanbad and West Singbhum, are attempting to address the issue through a focused and sizeable allocation.

CSE analysis highlights the allocations in Dhanbad and West Singhbhum. In keeping with the state directive, both districts have made biggest allocations for drinking water supply – 62.5% in Dhanbad and 60.7% in West Singhbhum.

“Both districts have allocated more than 60% of their DMF budget to ensure clean drinking water supply. Most of the drinking water budget in Dhanbad is earmarked for piped water supply to mining-affected areas, an approach which is likely to ensure sustained water supply, if executed properly,” said Srestha Banerjee, Programme Manager, CSE.

“However, there are many other critical issues in the districts which need attention and need simultaneous consideration in the DMF allocation besides drinking water. These include public health issues, education and welfare of the vulnerable such as children, women, aged and disabled people,” said Bhushan.

Another pressing issue that cannot be set aside is public health. For a highly polluted coal mining area such as Dhanbad, each mining affected block has access to only three to four public health centres, one community health centre, and 15 to 20 sub-centres, which is clearly subpar.  The situation is equally poor in West Singbhum where there are only 15 Public Health Centres (PHCs) catering to 12.85 lakh people in rural areas. Similar is the situation in the area of women and child development. In West Singbhum, the under-5 mortality rate in rural areas is as high as 96. “It will be extremely unfortunate if a district with about Rs. 214 crore already in its DMF fund fails to address this,” added Banerjee.

About DMF

DMF was instituted in March 2015 under India’s central mining law, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (1957). DMF has also been aligned to an important scheme of the Government of India, the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) that was launched in September 2015. According to the provisions of DMF, miners and mining companies are required to pay a sum to the DMF Trust of the district where the mine is located. This sum is determined on the basis of their royalty payments.

The fund is clearly a bounty for some of India’s poorest and under developed districts, many of which are in the country’s top mining states. In India’s top three mining states – Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, nearly 40 per cent of the people live below the poverty line. Various districts in these states, also identified as backward districts by the Niti Aayog, fare very poorly in terms of various human development indicators such as nutrition and health, mortality rate, access to clean water, sanitation and education, among others.

With a huge non-lapsable and an untied resource cover, clear objectives guiding the implementation, targeted beneficiaries and focussed intervention areas, DMFs hold a huge promise to address years of deprivation and inequality afflicting people living in India’s mining areas. “The Government had rightly observed that DMF and PMKKKY are ‘revolutionary’ steps. However, the success of this move now lies in its relevance to, and participation of the people, and the transparency and accountability mechanisms through which the institution operates in the coming years,” said Bhushan.

CSE’s recommendations

The fundamental fact about DMF is it is mandated to work for the interest and benefit of people and areas affected by mining related operations. Therefore, these people and the need of these areas should be put first and foremost. Also DMFs must function through utmost transparency and accountability so that the promise that it holds can be realized.

There are three important aspects that need to be addressed with respect to DMFs – institutional and administrative gaps, planning and budget allocations and a scientific approach to the planning process:

  • Set up DMF offices for activities like coordination, planning, monitoring and accounting – with full-time staff. There should also be an active engagement with subject experts and line department officials.

  • Each mining district should provide all information related to DMF on specific websites for the purposes of transparency and accountability.

  • Invest on social capital and not on physical capital. Some critical issues to concentrate on should be nutrition and food security, clean water access, healthcare and education.

  • Focus on improving livelihood opportunities in mining affected areas, particularly around local resources.

  • Set aside money for future security. Mining areas often suffer from the problem of becoming ‘ghost towns’ once mining ends. This should not be the case now that DMFs are in play.

  • Determine the focus areas of intervention and prioritise issues through proper scientific assessment, taking into account the views of mining-affected communities.

  • Undertake scientific and comprehensive planning to address immediate as well as long -term needs and provide future security. 

  • Perspective planning must be undertaken to address immediate and long-term needs and sustain investments.

  • DMFs can converge and integrate with other schemes of the Centre and state governments. This should however, be done only after thorough assessment of gaps.

  • A bottom-up planning process must be followed by involving Gram Sabhas as per the mandate of the law. 

A copy of the report is available here:

http://www.cseindia.org/content/release-cses-status-report-district-mineral-foundations-dmf-india

For more on CSE’s work on DMF please visit:

http://cseindia.org/content/districtmineral-foundation

For further information on the release of the DMF Status Report please contact Hemanth Subramanian, CSE Media Resource Centre; 9836748585; hemanth@cseindia.org

Announcements

  • Centre for Science and Environment recognises Social Impact Assessment (SIA) as an important tool to inform decision makers, regulators and stakeholders about the possible social and economic impacts of a development project. To be effective, SIA requires the active involvement of all concerned stakeholders. CSE has developed a five-day training programme aimed at giving practical exposure to participants on SIA with specific reference to infrastructure, mining and other industrial projects.

  • September  26-28, 2017

    New Delhi, India

    Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi is organising an international conference and exhibitions on continuous emission monitoring system "CEM India" in collaboration with Source Testing Association (STA), United Kingdom and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), India. The event will be held in Delhi on 26th- 28th September 2017. 

    Topics at the conference include:

    • Indian Regulations

Follow us on
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
DTE
 
gobar times