Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Odisha's decision to auction virgin mines raises environmental concerns - Mongabay-India

Last updated Wednesday, September 15, 2021 03:14 ET , Source: NewsService

  • Odisha is proposing to auction seven fresh mines which together could result in the loss of about 4,000 acres of forest land including the biodiversity-rich Karlapat and Gandhalpada forests.
  • These forests are not only a source of livelihood for the indigenous communities, but is also crucial to their cultural identity as it is home to hill considered abode of their gods.
  • Environmentalists allege that the state government has not consulted the communities who will be impacted by mining activities and is forcing their decision on the indigenous communities.

On August 9, 2021, as the World’s Indigenous People Day was being celebrated, hundreds of people from villages inside and on the periphery of the picturesque Karlapat Wildlife sanctuary in the Kalahandi district of Odisha gathered to protest against a proposed bauxite mining site in the area. The men and women, mostly from indigenous communities, had organised a similar protest last year as well when the government had conducted soil testing in the area.

In July 2021, the Odisha government issued a notice inviting tenders for the auction of 11 mines (seven fresh blocks and four lease renewals) in the state. The activists claim that the seven new mines are expected to result in the loss of 4,000 acres of forest land.

The 11 mines include seven mineral blocks of iron ore (Nadidih BICO, Purheibahal, Chandiposhi, Jumka Pathiriposhi Pahar, Dholtapahar, Netrabandha Pahar, Gandhalpada), two mineral blocks of iron ore and...

Read Full Story: https://india.mongabay.com/2021/09/odishas-decision-to-auction-virgin-mines-raises-environmental-concerns/

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