Benefits from more than Rs 66,000 crore greening fund will not be shared with forest dwellers

NEW DELHI: Gram sabha consent will not be mandatory for taking up any afforestation project utilizing compensatory afforestation funds (CAF). The Centre has recently notified the compensatory afforestation fund rules 2018 for localisation of more than Rs 66,000 crores (collected so far), by states and union territories for afforestation and conservation projects in forest areas.

There is also no clause in the rules on sharing the benefits from afforestation projects with forest dwellers affected by forest diversion for various development projects. Every time forest land is diverted for non-forest purposes like mining or industry, the user agency is supposed to “afforest” an area of the same size of the forests that were diverted. Since these plantations do not immediately provide the ecological services that a natural forest would provide, the law requires the user agency to compensate the loss by paying the “net present value (NPV)” of the forests for the next 50 years. This money is collected in the CAF administered by a national authority to be constituted. Forest rights activists and researchers have been arguing that forest dwellers affected by loss of forests should benefit from the funds. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Locals vent ire against Araku MLA over black metal quarry

Visakhapatnam: A tiny village near Paderu in the Visakha agency, Guda, is up in arms against the Araku MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and the district administration for not closing the metal (black basalt) that was creating health problems to the public and also damaging the houses in the surrounding villages.

Following the incident of destroying the protest tent at Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) office on Sunday night by unknown persons, the villagers have now decided to intensify their agitation. It may be recalled that the tribals of Guda village have been staging protest at ITDA office for the past 38 days.

“After 38 days, the cops are now saying that we don’t have permission to stage protest with the orders of the MLA Sarveswara Rao. We have lodged a complaint, the inspector said he would give the acknowledgement to complaint, but no FIR was registered so far,” a villager Bonju Babu said. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

India’s mining-based development: Economic prosperity hasn’t percolated to local people

A joint delegation of civil rights organizations, Samata and mines, minerals & People (mm&P) led by mm&P chairperson Rebbapragada Ravi and general secretary Ashok Shrimali met MPs of several political parties and minister of state of state for coal and mines Haribhai Chaudhary to apprise them of issues faced by the people in the mining areas. Text of the memorandum submitted by them:

India currently produces 89 minerals out of which four are fuel minerals, 11 metallic, 52 non- metallic and 22 minor minerals. Mining for fuel, metallic and non-metallic industrial minerals is currently undertaken in almost half of India’s districts. Post-Independence, mining has been considered as one of the main industries that generate high revenues considering that India is significantly endowed with mineral resources. In our country mining based development is considered to be directly proportional to economic prosperity at all levels — be it national or local. But that has not been the case! Read more

Courtesy: Counterview.org

Assembly resolution on mining against SC order: Panel to MPs

Panaji: A delegation of Mines, Minerals and People met MPs across party lines in New Delhi and explained how the private member resolution passed in the Goa assembly will handover mining leases to the same leaseholders, who had carried out illegal mining till the Supreme court intervened.

The body is an alliance of organisations, groups and individuals which has a network in 26 states. Delegation member Ravindra Velip said the delegation explained how the proposed amendments will bypass Supreme Court’s two judgments and only benefit the miners, who carried out illegal mining.

The Goa assembly unanimously passed resolution on August 3 to restart mining activities, which came to an halt on March 15.

Ravindra Velip, member of MM&P said the delegation made the MPs aware about resolution passed in the Goa assembly to amend mining laws so that the earlier leaseholders, who were stopped from carrying out illegal mining, get to continue mining.

He said the delegation explained how the proposed amendments will bypass Supreme Court judgments and only benefit companies who carried out illegal mining. “The MPs were briefed on how a people-oriented policy can lead to sustainable mining. We requested the MPs to raise a demand in Parliament that revenue lost due to illegal mining in Goa be recovered from the leaseholders,” he said.

Courtesy: The Times of India

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