Friday, April 27, 2007

what to do with the rowdy, most of the times illegal, corrupt mining sector in india to work as per human and environment norms. "Making India's mining sector socially and environmentally viable" written by sunita narain attempts to answer this.

this essay is 'the best' cover story i have read in a very long time. each and every para tackles the question of mining and its effects on human and environment and as the first para aptly puts it,
I learnt an important lesson on my travels in Orissa’s Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts. One, the people of one of the most resource-rich areas of the country were also some of its poorest; and, two, this was because their land contained minerals that were important for industrial growth.
Blacksmith institue lists regions of orissa as the most polluted in the world. from blacksmith website,
Chromite, a heavy metal used in the production of chrome metal and chromium, was discovered in India, in 1949. Today, about 97 percent of the nation’s deposits are found in the mineral-rich earth of the Sukinda Valley, Jajpur district, and it is the home to one of the largest open cast chrome ore mines in the world. Over 30 million tons of overburden (leftover rock after ore-removal) litters the surrounding areas and the Brahmani river banks. This area is flood-prone resulting in significant contamination of the waterways.

when it comes to development that the learned, educated and US-lived orissa chief minister brutally pushes, he very cooly pushes the massive environmental and social costs of this indiscriminate mining. assuming he had continued living in america and assuming he had got into some senior american government position and pushes such policy in america, he would have been taken to task by the pollution control agency, the courts and the people.

alas india is not america.

(chromite mines of orissa. one of the most polluted and poorest regions of orissa has taken the brunt of fake development that is being propagated in india)


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