‘The mining lobby tried to suppress our voice’

Down To Earth | April 12, 2019

Chairperson of Tarun Bharat Sangh writes about their fight against illegal mining that started in the 1980s

Our movement against illegal mining started in the 1980s. Our non-profit Tarun Bharat Sangh vigorously took up water conservation works, like pond constructions and river rejuvenation, in different villages of Alwar district of Rajasthan.

There was an incident which changed the course of our movement. In Tilwari village in Sariska Tiger Reserve, we constructed two ponds and tried to revive a few old wells. But to our surprise, water would not seep up through the ground and the ponds and wells ran dry. On the other hand, the mining pits in the village were always flooded and miners had to pump the water out before conducting mining operations every day. It then dawned on us that the hydrology of the area was moving the water to the mining area. Read more

No Mining Roadmap

The Navhind Times | April 12, 2019

Goa expected a concrete Proposal from PM Modi

In his Wednesday election speech at Panaji Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to Goans that his next government and the state government will try to “remove the obstacles” on the way of resumption of mining. He did not give any concrete proposal for mining resumption as the mining dependants observing a protest at Jantar Mantar would have expected, though. Perhaps there is no clear way visible to his government yet because of the Supreme Court watching the scene in the light of massive illegal mining in the pre-shutdown years. But Modi gave hope: “We will certainly try to get the hurdles out of the way for restart of mining. The central government and the state government will try to do it in accordance with the law.” Modi’s words might lighten the pessimism of the Goan mining industry and the services industries and the people dependent on it about early restart of mining, but it is not like the light at the end of the tunnel. For the past few years the state leaders have been telling people the same thing what Modi said:  “We are trying to remove the hurdles in the way of resumption of mining.” A few months before the announcement of elections, a delegation of the Goa Mining People Front had met the Prime Minister in Delhi and he had said, “I will see what we can do.” Before the BJP manifesto was released, the state BJP leaders told the media they had suggested the manifesto committee to include restart of Goa’s mining as one of the issues. However, the manifesto when it came out did not contain anything about Goa’s mining. All it said about mining was raising national mining output. Read more

Mining dependents, ramponnkars reject Modi’s ‘false assurances’

Herald Goa | April 12, 2019
PANJIM: In a major embarrassment to the BJP, the mining dependents and  ramponnkars in Goa, rejected Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll promises as ‘lies and false assurances’ ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
While the mining dependents said that the statements were such political assurances, the fishermen dismissed them and called the Prime Minister a liar.
Goa Mining People’s Front President, Puti Gaonkar said, “These are political assurances keeping in mind the elections. It all depends on what they file in Supreme Court (referring to the abolition matter, which is challenged by mining companies). Next week we will come to know whether he is serious or not.”

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Mining in Jharkhand threatens locals in their own land

Down To Earth | Srestha Banerjee, Rajeev Ranjan | 10 April 2019

Residents of the state’s mining areas are unemployed and are threatened of being jailed when they ask for work

Our car stopped at the bent of narrow roads through Chotanagra panchayat. As we walked down, a group of 15 people was waiting in Dhobil village gathered by Lakhan Soren, a community volunteer who works for community rights and empowerment in the area. “More will join us soon,” said Soren as we were there to find out the state of mining-affected communities in the area. He pointed towards Dhobil iron ore mines, a little more than a kilometre away where some of the people were working. Read more

Disenchanted Surjagad flaunts NOTA

The Hindu | Sharad Vyas | April 10, 2019

Nearly 25,000 voters to register protest against iron ore mining on forestland

A day after Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed by Maoists in Dantewada, 70 gram sabhas along the Chhattisgarh-Maharashtra border have announced they will choose the NOTA, or none of the above, option in the Lok Sabha election on Thursday.

An estimated 25,000 voters living around the iron ore deposits of Surjagad in remote Gadchiroli took this decision in protest against the Maharashtra government’s approval of iron ore mining on 40,900 acres of forestland and the increased “militarisation” of 70 gram sabhas in the Etapalli tehsil, having a population of 81,700 spread over 180 villages in the highly sensitive security zone. Read more

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