PEOPLE AND THE JUDICIARY
India has been witnessing a rising trend of judicial intervention and directives in cases involving a face-off between large institutional
projects and the people they affect.
looks at two recent judgments as she tries to explore the real impact of such court rulings on the struggles at the grassroots.
POSCO ruling sets new terms
The National Green Tribunal's judgement in the POSCO case has implications for many other industrial development projects in the
The battlefield of hopes
As in many other struggles around the country, in Kalinganagar too there are fractures within the opposition to the proposed
industrial plants, and families are torn apart by bleak choices.
Grappling with change
Communities along the Shnongrim ridge are caught between the plans of mining companies and their own traditional livelihoods. Some are
changing their minds, while others despair.
DRAFT MINING REGULATION
Mining vs. Communities
The Sustainable Development Framework has captured the feedback about mining-related damages,
but the draft regulations for mining don't reflect this understanding.
MINING IN NIYAMGIRI
Round and round the sacred hills
Despite many violations, protests, and committee recommendations against mining in the
Niyamgiri hills, the region's fate lies in the corridors of power.
ALL THAT GLITTERS - I
Blinding lure, dirty lucre
Extracting gold needed to forge a wedding band leaves behind at least 20-30 tons of waste and
environmental devastation. Mahazareen Dastur writes about the costs
of gold mining in the first of a two-part series.
ALL THAT GLITTERS - II
Gold mining: The way forward
Gold mining wreaks havoc on the environment and humans alike, but there are ways to help minimise the damage.
Mahazareen Dastur concludes this two-part series.
Pause the mineral economy
Let the mineral wealth of Central India remain untapped until the people there acquire the capacity to negotiate the terms for its use and benefit directly
from doing so.
Lokayukta slams mining in forests
A long history of questionable practices in the mining industry catches up with its practitioners, landing the whole affair in the Supreme Court.
Coal waste darkens the Kelo
It is plain for all to see that untreated mining waste is being discharged into the river around Khamaria, but it is equally plain that
the government is doing nothing about it.
EYES ON THE FORESTS
A miner's shortcut goes awry
A Jindal group-Government of TN firm attempted to get clearance for mining in the Eastern Ghats forests. Both MoEF
and a Supreme Court committee said 'No'.
Awarded in haste, withheld
Over 170 organisations and individuals came together to highlight Vedanta's history of environmental irregularities to the Golden
Peacock jury members, prompting a second look.
Vedanta - the suspense continues
The CEC offers recommendations on how the SC's order
on Vedanta Alumina's plans for mining in Orissa should proceed.
MINING IN ORISSA
Mine today, gone tomorrow
The Supreme Court acknowledges the indictment of Vedanta's operations in India by the Norwegian Council on Ethics, but its recent verdict appears to
let the company off lightly, treating the Indian subsidiary as unrelated to its parent.
NOXIOUS COAL MINES
In the line of fire
The Jharia mines in Jharkhand's Dhanbad district produce the best quality coking coal (used in blast furnaces) in India. However, the area, mostly inhabited by tribals, has been smouldering with underground mine fires for several decades now.
reports on the health impact.
Defining temporary permissions
What happens when a company's mining permit or forest clearance expires before its renewal application is approved? After a year of arguments in the Supreme
Court showed conclusively that there were no uniform guidelines, the court has now acted to set this right.
Illegal mining near Rajaji National Park
A group of farmers based near the Rajaji National Park in Uttaranchal have reported illegal stone and sand mining activities in the eco fragile zone to local and national authorities. They are farming in Banjarowala Grant village, Haridwar district near the border of Uttaranchal and U.P.
White asbestos, a health time bomb
The Ministry of Mines and Minerals says it may lift the ban on asbestos mining. It is
ignoring the views of exposure victims, informed recommendations of public sector
medical experts, and mounting evidence of an asbestos disease epidemic emerging
in developed countries, writes
PROTRACTED CONSERVATION BATTLE
Kudremukha mining: closure in sight?
On 31 December 2005, the curtains are set to come down on the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd's
long disputed mining operations in the protected Kudremukh National Park. But ensuring an end
to mining in one of the most stunning landscapes of the country has not been easy.
provides a telling narrative.
ORISSA ALUMINIUM MINING
SC committee says no to Vedanta refinery
The Supreme Court's Central Empowered Committee on Forests issued a report on 21 September 2005 recommending
the revocation of environmental clearances given to Vedanta Alumina Ltd's 1 million tonne aluminium refinery
in Orissa's Niyamgiri forests. The CEC found that Vedanta had falsified information.
Silicosis - a 'dusty' tale in Rajasthan
The lung dust that hundreds of thousands of mineworkers in Rajasthan are exposed to takes a severe toll on their health
and lives. The rules meant to protect them, however, have yet to be dusted off the shelves.
recounts the history of the mineworkers' plight.
KERALA : BEACH EROSION THREAT
Coastal sand mining push despite eco-risks
On 7 June, the Kerala government-constituted K John Mathew Commission greenlighted mineral
sandmining on a narrow strip of beach and the adjacent sea basin in Alapuzha district.
M Suchitra and P N Venugopal
note that the report has irked the local communities as well as
KERALA: SAND MINING IN RIVER BEDS
Mining away the river
Despite numerous prohibitions and regulations, sand mining continues rapidly on the riverbed of the
Bharathapuzha. Water tables have dropped dramatically, and a land once known for its plentiful rice harvest now
faces scarcity of water, as locals are split between conservation and livelihood.
URANIUM MINING IN ANDHRA
The half-life of justice and common sense
After one round of public scrutiny and an adverse order from the Supreme court, UCIL's plans for uranium mining in
Nalgonda seemed to be defeated. But the company now proposes to continue down the same path, apparently unmindful of
local opposition or legal strictures.
ILLEGAL CLEARING OF FORESTS
Orissa's aluminum mining costs are steep
The Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court has found
illegalities in central government clearances to Sterlite Industries'
bauxite mining project in Orissa. The committee has recommended (to the
apex court) against diversion of forestlands for the project.
Wrong, but still right!
Despite an Inspection Panel report confirming
substantial violations of its lending policies in a Coal
India project in Jharkhand, the World
Bank's board recommends only minimal action.
Management asserts that most locals' lives
were in fact improved by the project.
Mineral sand coast under threat
A recent proposal for sand mining in Kerala's Alappuzha district has come under severe scrutiny from both law-makers and experts of the region.
Benefits of the project do not seem to outweigh the costs to fisheries and the environment. Sreedevi Jacob reports.
Not quite as planned or promised
Quarrying under scrutiny
The World Bank's Inspection Panel finds
that a Bank-backed coal mine disrupted livelihoods by violating guidelines
on resettlement, supervision, and the environment.
The Center for Resource Education reports on the Rock Mining Industry
Karnataka peddles new iron ore in old bottles