Mining and its effect on Forests and Tribal People
It is often remarked that in our country most mining work has been unscientific.
Consequently no heed is paid to environment protection. The consequences have been
disastrous. For example:
(1) They have developed large tracts that lost productivity.
(2) There have been water and air pollution, despoliation of land and deforestation,
noise and ground vibration problems etc.
As such, to ameliorate the situation, the mined areas to be reclaimed for agriculture,
forestry, fisheries and recreation. During last 20-30 years, a number of mining operation
have been started in the country. These operations affected forest and cultivated land areas.
Such operations have been taken mainly in U.P., Bihar, M.P., Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
The result are as under:
(1) The use of land scale for townships, communication, excavation and transport
affected the socioeconomic and ecology of these areas.
(2) Ecological problems developed in coal mine areas in Ranchi, Hazaribagh (Bihar),
Bina Project (U.P.) and Singular complex at Gorbi (U.P.) and Jayant (M.P.).
Some illustrations are as under:
In Ranchi several hundred sq. km. of land has been converted to bad lands.
In Singrauli complex forests and hillocks have been erased due to construction of high
power transmission lines, roads and rail tracks. Establishment of other factories as cement
and super thermal power stations around coal mines have resulted into environment
Reclamation of Mined Areas
There are two successful cases of reclamation of mined areas in India. These are as
(1) Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd. in Tamil Nadu.
(2) Stone Quarries of Sayaji Iron Works in Gujarat.
It is felt, there is need to have legal protection and to revise the Mines and Minerals
(Regulations and Development) Act, 1957 (MMRD Act) to bring in it the environment concerns.