Aravallis broken beyond repair

Down To Earth | Jitendra, Shagun Kapil | 09 April 2019

Illegal mining has ravaged the mountain range in the past few decades. Down To Earth investigates the loss and traces the legal developments in Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi

Abdal khan is a prisoner of geography. A resident of Nimli village in Rajasthan’s Alwar district, Khan, who claims to be over 100 years old, is mostly bedridden in his home nestled in the foothills of the Aravallis. He stays quiet most of the time, but a mention of the Aravallis triggers an outburst. “I have accompanied British officials on hunting tours on these hills. Where we are sitting now was once a thick forest,” he says. There are only a few like him alive, who can remember the once ecologically rich Aravallis and also witnessed its gradual demise. His youngest daughter, Dini Bi, who is half his age, lives some 50 km north in Banban village of the same district, also located in the mountain range, which has almost disappeared. While Khan laments the loss of forests, his daughter is not so mournful. “It was good when the mountain was there. But mining gave us jobs,” she says. Read more

Meghalaya Mining Disaster: Even After Over 100 Days, Bodies Of Miners Yet To Be Retrieved

The Logical Indian Crew | April 9, 2019

On December 13, 2018, about 22 miners reportedly went inside an illegal rat-hole coal mine in Meghalaya. The 370 feet deep mine was flooded after they struck an underground water source. Only 5 miners were able to escape and the remaining were trapped inside. The 1st battalion of the National Disaster Response Force were the first respondents when they reached the site on December 14.

According to the report by Scroll, by December 30, Coal India Limited, Orissa Fire Services, the Indian Navy, and the water pump manufacturing company Kirloskar Brothers got involved in the rescue operation. Despite that, by February 27, 2019 (76 days after the flooding) they were able to draw out the bodies of only 2 of the miners. Soon after that everyone but the NDRF left. Read more

‘I am asking for votes on basis of development I have brought to Gadchiroli’

The Hindu | Sharad Vyas | April 9, 2019

BJP MP refutes allegations of not visiting constituency in five years; wants to introduce tax holiday package for industries

The inaccessible terrain of the Naxal-hit Gadchiroli district poses a challenge to every politician looking to cover the last mile before the elections. The BJP’s sitting MP from the district, Ashok Nete, not only faces the onerous task of reaching his voters in remote regions under control of the Left Wing Extremism, but he must counter the anti-incumbency wave to win a second term in the Lok Sabha. Here he counters the charges: Read more

SC declines urgent hearing of PIL against mining leases for 358 iron ore mines

Business Standard | April 8, 2019

The Supreme Court Monday declined urgent hearing of a PIL seeking quashing of allotment, extension or continuation of leases to firms for mining iron ore from over 358 mines across the country without any fresh evaluation.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told advocate M L Sharma, who filed the PIL, that the plea would come up for hearing in due course and urgent hearing was not needed. Read more

Watch | Sadak Se Sansad: How Meghalaya’s Coal Mafia Strikes Terror

The Wire Staff | March 07, 2019

In this ground report from Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district, we portrays the travails of the poor whose land has been forcibly taken to do rat-hole mining.

The ‘Sadak Se Sansad’ team visited Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district to portray the travails of the residents whose land has been forcibly taken by the powerful to do rat-hole mining in spite of a ban by the NGT and the Supreme Court.

Mining has not only taken away their traditional means of livelihood – agriculture – but has also contaminated their sources of drinking water. While the rich buy water, the poor have to walk several kilometres every day to look for clean water to drink and wash clothes.

Youtube video

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