MAC: Mines and Communities

Writers' Call To End Mining

Published by MAC on 2005-08-16
Source: The Hindu ()
Writers' call to end mining

Finally, some Indian citizens remind their government of its obligation to close down the country's most criticised existing iron ore mine.

The Hindu

August 16 2005

'The loss to humanity if the park is to vanish can never be assessed'

Writers U.R. Ananthamurthy and Poornachandra Tejaswi, wildlife biologist and researcher Ullas Karanth and two others have written to all legislators in the State urging them to help stop mining by Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL) in the Kudremukh National Park according to the Supreme Court order.

They have said that the 2001 order of the Supreme Court has taken note of the biodiversity of the park and the disastrous consequences of mining low grade iron ore in an area that experiences 7,000 mm of rainfall annually.

They said the loss to humanity if the park is to vanish can never be assessed. Apart from the wealth of flora and fauna that have made the Western Ghats, of which the park is a part, one of the 18 global ecological hotpots, it is a travesty that mining is being carried on in a place that happens to be the birthplace of the Bhadra, Tunga, Netravathi and the Hemavathi. The scientific analysis accepted by the State Government noted in 2002 that mining in the park generated 2.2 lakh tonnes of silt, which has been allowed to flow and settle in the Bhadra and the reservoir.

Accumulation of silt in the left bank of the Bhadra reservoir has affected many farmers and villagers depending on water for irrigation and drinking.

The Supreme Court has taken all these factors into consideration, and on a petition by K.M. Chinnappa of Wildlife First Trust ordered in October 2002 that mining should be stopped by this December 31. Despite knowing this, the Government has been entertaining requests to intervene and appeal to the Supreme Court for reviewing its orders, they said.

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