Regional Meeting: Bhubaneswar, Odisha, July 28, 2017
For over a decade, the country has debated the need to reform the mining sector byamending the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Bill 2011 was tabled in Parliament in December, 2011 – it will lapse if not passed
The outrage over the suspension of an official, Durga Shakti Nagpal, for simply doing her job—check illegal sand mining in the rivers of Uttar Pradesh—has highlighted a crucial issue. It is now evident that illegal mining of sand from rivers and beaches is rampant and the underbelly of this industry (I’m calling it industry for want of a better word) is powerful and connected. Worse still, all this is happening in violation of the orders of the apex court of the country.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests constituted a committee under the Chairmanship of Shri J.M. Mauskar, Special Secretary to Government of India vide Office Order No.J-11013/30/2009-IA.II (I) (Pt.) dated 14th December, 2009 to examine the issues relating to monitoring of projects.
Note by the Centre for Science and Environment, based on extensive research published in its book, Rich Lands, Poor People: is ‘sustainable mining possible? August 2010
India’s richest lands – with minerals, forests, wildlife, water sources – are home to its poorest people. Mining in India has, contrary to government’s claims, done little for the development of the mineral-bearing regions of the country: says the latest publication from New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment -its 356-page 6th State of India’s Environment Report, titled Rich Lands, Poor People - Is Sustainable Mining Possible?
Critiques industry’s reported reticence in sharing its profits with project-affected people. • New Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) says the provision of benefit-sharing envisioned in the proposed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2010 is the “first step towards repairing and repaying the damages done to poor communities living on mineral-rich lands”
The massacre of 76 policemen in Dantewada by naxalites is reprehensible. Yet we cannot brush aside the underlying poverty, deprivation and sheer lack of justice that are breeding tension and anger in vast areas of rural, tribal India. We cannot say that these developmental issues are long term—as the Congress spokesperson has reportedly said—while the immediate task is to annihilate the Naxalites.