Wednesday, August 13, 2008

as this blog chronicles the huge destruction that is happening in india in name of 'development', one common question will be:

'can any of the things that is happening in india in name of development be done more sustainably, more inclusive and more lightly on the environmental impact'.

the answer is yes, yes and yes. check out the note from cseindia on mining. mining in india is done by mainly by huge corporations apart from politicians run companies. but if this mining if done sustainably can be of huge game changer to environment, to local communities and to the revenue generation of india itself.

Is sustainable mining possible?
The CSE report points out that mining cannot be sustainable or truly environment-friendly: one, because all ore bodies are finite and non-renewable and two, because even the best managed mines leave “environmental footprints”. But it also concedes that mining and minerals are necessary. Adds Chandra Bhushan “The issue is not whether mining should be undertaken or not. Rather, it is about how it should be undertaken. It is about ensuring that mining is conducted in an environmentally and socially acceptable manner.”

The report goes on to recommend a range of policy initiatives that could help India meet this challenge. Some of its main recommendations include recognising people’s right to say ‘no’ (mining should not take place without the consent of the people); independent, impartial preparation of EIA reports; disallowing mining in forests; framing stronger mine closure regulations; and “doing more with less – a key to sustainable development”.

we agree with a big YES. if mining (and many development activities like dams, factories, power plants, etc) are done with basic human and environmental parameters, the activitiy will be a huge boom for the local population and also for the rest of india.

but will india care? will its middle class elite bother? will its powerful, rich businessmen and their politician friends have some basic human responsibility?

i do not have much hope. when you care least about human beings, human rights, environment and rule of the land, the more you do destruction in name of development.

after all in india, you can fool all the people all the time in all the places.


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