Environment undermined as coal comes more and more from opencast mines

Environment undermined as coal comes more and more from opencast mines

Shatrughan Sinha and Amitabh Bachchan toiling in the dark caverns of a deep coal mine in the 1979 hit Kala Patthar has more or less come to represent life in the Indian coal industry.

The image now needs a makeover, as underground (UG) mining, once the mainstay and a relatively environment-friendly option, has become rare in India.

In FY18, the nation’s two commercial miners — Coal India Ltd (CIL) and Singareni Collieries Co Ltd (SCCL) — produced 629 million tonne of fuel. Of this, barely 39 mt, or 6 per cent, came from underground sources, down from 16 per cent in FY05 and nearly 9 per cent in FY14. Among the top coal-producing nations, only Indonesia has a lower UG share. Considering 25 per cent of India’s coal assets are deep-seated, UG should ideally contribute a quarter of production. Read more

Courtesy: Business Line

’60 cr people face high to extreme water crisis in India’

Sixty crore people in India face high to extreme water crisis and its demand is projected to be twice the availability supply by 2030, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Answering a question in the Lok Sabha on a study conducted by the NITI Aayog on water crisis in the country, Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi said there was an imminent need to deepen understanding of water resources and their usage. Read more

Courtesy: The Economic Times

Mining rehabilitation plan for whom?

Ballari: Each Gram Panchayat in the iron ore mining belt of Ballari-Sandur-Hosapete is likely to get Rs 2 crore grant per annum to undo the damages of mining till next ten years. Ballari deputy commissioner Mr Ram Prasath Manohar, while addressing a public consultation, has stated that funds will be allocated to panchayats from the corpus of Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up by the state government to carry out the restoration process.

Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court had recommended a Rs 30,000 crore mega project to undo the damage done to the environment of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumkur district by reckless mining operations. The green bench of the Supreme Court later directed the state government to set up a company to formulate and implement projects under the Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) With such huge money involved, elected representatives in the mining region are making a beeline to submit major action plans worth hundreds of crore. Read more

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

Newest phase in Earth’s history named after Meghalaya rock

NEW DELHI: It’s official, we live in the Meghalayan Age. Scientists have created a new phase in Earth’s geological history and named it Meghalayan, after a stalagmite from a cave in the Indian state of Meghalaya that helped define climatic events 4,200 years ago, marking the beginning of the phase that continues till today.

The Meghalayan Age began with a mega global drought that devastated ancient agricultural civilisations from Egypt to China. It is part of a longer period known as the Holocene Epoch, which reflects everything that has happened over the past 11,700 years. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Maharashtra Denies Habitat Rights to the Most Backward Tribal Communities

In January 2016, a decade after the Forest Rights Act (FRA) was passed by Parliament, 60 gram sabhas in Khutgaon, Gadchiroli, became the first forest-dwelling people in Maharashtra to file a claim for habitat rights. These people are part of a community called Madia Gond, classified as a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG). Almost three years since their claims were submitted, since also approved by the authorised body, they are yet to receive their legal titles.

PVTG is a subcategory of scheduled tribes (ST), characterised by a pre-agricultural level of technology, stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy rate and subsistence level of economy. There are 75 listed PVTGs in India; Maharashtra has three: Katkaria or Kathodi in Thane and Raigad districts, Kolam in Yavatmal district and Madia Gond in Gadchiroli district. Among STs, the PVTGs have distinct societies and cultures rooted in their territories and forests. Most PVTGs are known to identify themselves as part of a larger clan of villages of the same community, with large and shared bio-cultural territories. These territories or habitats provide livelihood and resources as well as social and spiritual significance. Read more

Courtesy: The Wire

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