MAC: Mines and Communities

Indian Update

Published by MAC on 2006-04-18

Indian Update

18th April 2006

India's headlong rush into new mining and minerals projects during 2005 - with scarcely any acknowledgment of the consequences to the environment and living things - came into sharp public focus, following last January's massacre of protestors at Kalinganagar. But, recently, criticisms at a political level have waned, although a number of community protests are proving resilient and Maoists ("Naxalites") have - sometimes very bloodily - entered the fray.

So, it seems that corporate India is (courtesy of the government) yet again "shining" with a multi-metallic, multinational, glint, while the country's energy "policy" is, to say the least, enigmatic. On the one hand there's a belated promise to invest in relatively benign coal bed methane capture. On the other hand, no brake is applied to open pit coal mining itself, and exploitation of uranium is being ramped up to dizzying heights. Government claims that mining yellowcake is virtually harmless defy all previous mining experiences around the globe - not least in India itself.

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