Telangana’s revised District Mineral Foundation Rules to increase political interference

The Telangana government has recently revised its District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Rules, making the institution dominated by politicians, and ousting provisions for any peoples’ involvement, including of the Gram Sabha.

The Rules, which were amended in May-end (and made public in June), have included only Members of Parliament (MP), members of the state legislative assembly (MLA) and legislative council (MLC), in the DMF body.

DMF has been instituted under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act or the MMDR Act, 2015. It has been set up in all mining districts across the country as a non-profit Trust. Its purpose has been clearly spelt under the MMDR Act as “to work for the benefit of people and areas affected by mining-related operations.” The body has a two-tier administrative structure to guide its operation and management, namely the Governing Council and the Managing Committee.  Further, the engagement of people has been insisted upon through Gram Sabhas, which should be made part of identifying DMF beneficiaries, approve works to be done through DMF, and also review work progress.

Telangana is one among the top six states in India with regard to DMF collection, with a total amount of Rs 1,620 crore collected so far. Read more

Courtesy: Down to earth

China-led, India-supported AIIB funding hyper-inflated infra projects, promoting crony capitalism: Mumbai meet

A civil society-sponsored convention, concluded ahead of the high-profile AIIB (Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank) board meet, to take place on June 25-26 in Mumbai, has sharply criticized the “China-led” international financial institution (IFI), insisting, it “rejects” AIIB claim that it “serves as a healthy and essential alternative to undemocratic IFIs such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and International Finance Corporation which are controlled by western powers.”

Held in Mumbai on June 21-23, a resolution adopted at the end of the convention said, “The design and structure of the $100 billion AIIB functions equally undemocratically. What is worse, it invests in projects without in any manner complying with necessary environmental and social safeguards. In the process, AIIB is doling out billions of dollars of loans to critical sectors such as energy, road building and urbanization causing extensive negative environmental and social impacts.” Read more

Courtesy: Counterview

Unresolved conflicts characterize environmental nod to 70 of 75 projects involving 7.28 lakh ha land: Study

A recent research study has said that of the “75 cases of conflict over land use change” involving 7,28,673 hectares (ha) “officially transferred through environmental clearance process”, in as many of 70 conflicts have remained unresolved even today. The projects have been chosen out of a list of environmental clearances granted to 14,498 projects, uploaded on the Union environment ministry’s website as of October 2017.

Most of the land use changes carried out for satisfying the demand for “developmental” needs relate to infrastructure expansion and industrial acceleration, and urbanisation. Read more

Courtesy: Counterview

TN govt’s Sterlite closure order on shaky ground

Advocate Ritwick Dutta who specialises in environment law, said, “If the pollution control board or the government is directing for closure, specific violations of the Air Act, Water Act and Environment Protection Act need to be cited. The order should be based on sound reasoning and state what the liability of the company as they have to clean up the mess.” Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Govt of India push for ‘commercially important’ invasive timber for afforestation to damage ecology, groundwater

The recently-released draft National Forest Policy (NFP), says a representation before the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), would adversely affect scheduled tribes, 90% of whom live in forest areas and intractable terrains, by turning them into migrant construction labourers by displacing them for the exploitation of minerals and other development projects. Read more

Courtesy: Counterview

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