Long road ahead: Odisha’s DMF funds to improve livelihood

Down to Earth || Chinmayi Shalya || 02 April 2019

The state has amended its DMF Rules and is also investing in projects to improve the lives of its mining-affected people; whether DMF lives up to its promised potential is yet to be seen

Gangaram Munda of Kasira village in the Koida region of Odisha’s Sundargarh district, is now 40. He remembers working in an iron ore mine until 15 years ago before the companies started getting labour from outside and mining became increasingly mechanised. Read more

Miners flourish, electorate live in misery

Manish Kumar, Orissa Post || March 20th, 2019

Keonjhar: A recent study by the New Delhi-based think tank, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), claims that Keonjhar has bagged the lion’s share – 43 per cent – of Odisha’s total District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds, collected from miners but the constituency evinces no sign of development commensurate with the funds allocated to the mineral-rich district.

With the ‘go-ahead’ from the state government several miners had undertaken large-scale exploration of mineral resources in the area in the last 20-years and garnered profits but a large number of the electorate in the district still live in penury thanks to the administrative apathy of the authorities. Read more

Raman Singh government diverted welfare funds to Ujjwala

Nidhi Sharma, ET Bureau|| March 06, 2019

Chhattisgarh government’s records reveal that the Raman Singh-led BJP government had made a budget provision of Rs 55 crore for the Ujjwala scheme.

New Delhi: The newly-elected Congress government in Chhattisgarh has found that funds from several social welfare schemes, including District Mineral Foundation and Compensatory Afforestation, were diverted by its predecessor to fund the Centre’s flagship initiative Ujjwala scheme, which provides free LPG cylinders to below poverty line families.

Chhattisgarh government’s records reveal that the Raman Singh-led BJP government had made a budget provision of Rs 55 crore for the Ujjwala scheme. However, it diverted finances from other schemes, including Rs 29 crore from a labour department scheme, Rs 212.90 crore from environment cess, Rs 47.08 crore from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and Rs 162.38 crore from District Mineral Foundation (DMF). CAMPA oversees compensatory afforestation which needs to be done in lieu of diversion of forest land for non-forestry use. As per the guidelines, CAMPA funds cannot be diverted for any other purpose. Read more

Chhattisgarh govt revises District Mineral Foundation Trust composition

Down To Earth || Srestha Banerjee, Prashanth S Chinnappanavar || 05 March 2019

The new Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh has revised the composition of the governing council of District Mineral Foundation Trusts (DMFTs), and placed the minister in-charge of the respective districts at the head of the governing bodies.

Earlier, these were headed by the District Collector (DC). The change has been brought about by introducing amendments to the Chhattisgarh District Mineral Foundation Trust Rules (2015), through a notification dated February 26, 2019. Read more

Can’t provide free water to Sonshi locals, govt tells HC

The Times of India || Updated 04 March 2019

PANAJI: The directorate of mines and geology has stated that it will not be economically viable or practically advisable to provide water free of cost to mining affected villagers of Sonshi. Instead, it has proposed that meter charges be waived for those in the village who state they cannot afford to pay it.

The money will be reimbursed to the public works department (PWD) by the district mineral foundation, it has proposed.

“Drinking water is a limited resource and the same is already heavily subsidised for the Goan public. Hence, it will not be economically viable or practically advisable to provide water free of cost as whenever anything is provided free, it is not valued and there is a chance of wastage,” deputy director of mines Neha Panvelkar informed the high court in response to demands by Goa Foundation and Sonshi residents to release water free of charge since they are mining affected persons.

PWD stated that pipelines/distribution network for drinking water in Sonshi had been laid and that the residents of Sonshi have to apply for water connection before the same can be released to the households.

Advocate Norma Alvares representing Goa Foundation told the division bench of the high court that despite efforts of the government, 70 wells continue to run in the mining affected village. When wells in other areas are filled with water during the monsoon, those in Sonshi just have a meter of water, she said. She said the wells aren’t recharging because perhaps the water is accumulating in the mining pits as mining companies dug below the water table level.

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