Need a monitoring mechanism to ensure prompt use of funds under DMF: Parliamentary panel to Mines Ministry

NEW DELHI: Lashing out at the Centre for lack of transparency and accountability in projects under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF), a parliamentary panel has asked it to develop a monitoring mechanism saying only projects worth Rs 4,888 crore could be completed as against a total collection of Rs 21,235 crore until August 2018.

It has also observed that instead of tapping DMF as a tool to alleviate poverty of millions of mining impacted people, the progress was tardy to the extent that out of a total collection of Rs 21,235 crore, projects worth only Rs 15,548 could be sanctioned.

“As against a total collection of Rs 21,235 crore as on August 2018 under the DMF, projects worth Rs 15,548 crore only have been sanctioned so far…out of a total 81,624 projects sanctioned, only 22,026 projects worth Rs 4,888 crore have been completed so far, reflecting non-initiation of schemes under DMF,” the panel headed by Chintamani Malviya said in its recent report tabled in Parliament. Read more

Centre asks states to complete audit of DMF by this fiscal

The Centre has advised the states to complete the audit of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) up to FY2018 by the end of current financial year.

“Most of states have carried out or are in the process of carrying out the audit of DMF,” Minister of State for Mines Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

All states, he said, have been advised to complete the audit up to the year 2017-18 by end of current financial year.

“Ministry of Mines vide letter dated October 4, 2018 has requested the state governments to audit the funds of DMF utilised under PMKKKY (Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana),” he said.

The minister said, as per the guidelines of September 16, 2018, the accounts of DMF will be audited every year by the Chartered Accountant appointed by the DMF, or in such other manner as the government may specify.

“Section 9B of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 provides for establishment of ….DMF in each district affected by mining related operations,” the minister said.

The government had earlier said that at least 60 per cent funds of the DMF, which are being spent for benefit of people affected by mining-related operations, will be utilised in high priority areas like drinking water and pollution control.

It had said that to facilitate synergy in implementation of DMF across states, the centre has launched the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana with the objective of welfare of areas and people affected by mining-related operations.

Courtesy: Business Standard

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SC-appointed retired judge reviews DMF fund utilisation

Keonjhar: Retired justice AK Patnaik, nominated by the Supreme Court, arrived at Keonjhar Wednesday and started reviewing how District Mineral Foundation (DMF) funds were utilised for various projects in the district.

Patnaik was accompanied by the commissioner of the health department, the director of OPEPA and the special secretary of the SC/ST development department.

In the evening, they held a review meeting on utilisation of the DMF funds at Durbar Hall. Patnaik also took stock of healthcare facilities, help desk, CT scan, dialysis and other amenities being provided to patients at the district headquarters hospital.

Patnaik talked to doctors at the DHH about the healthcare facility.

He also visited the under-construction building of the government medical college and hospital at Kabitra.

He will review implementation of a project for ensuring livelihood of mining-affected people; a drinking water project at Hatidari, two other projects at Kodagadia and Mirigisinga; the model school at Lahanda, a 50-bed maternity hospital, apart from taking stock of issues like air pollution in Joda mining areas.

Patnaik will also visit several villages under Joda and Jhumpura blocks to see mega drinking water projects at 126 villages.

Courtesy: Odisha Post

Mining firms stop school buses, 70 kids stuck at home

PANAJI: Around 70 children in Sonshi, and several others in the state’s mining belt, are unable to go to school as mining companies, after their operations came to a standstill following the Supreme Court order, stopped providing them transport.

It is the state government’s responsibility in these circumstances to immediately provide free transport to these schoolchildren as also water to these areas, Ashok Shrimali of the voluntary organisation mines, minerals and people said. Read more

TimesView Mining areas like Sonshi have always faced the brunt of government neglect, first when they were being smothered in pollution and now when their children have been deprived school bus service and are forced to stay home. The government provides buses to aided schools under the Bal Rath scheme, why does it not extend the scheme to government schools as economically underprivileged children are more likely to go to these schools.
“We held a daylong workshop today with mining affected people from across Goa and the main issues affecting them presently is no transport for their children to go to school and lack of water. Mining companies have stopped providing both as their operations have shut. They say they are now contributing towards the district mineral foundation (DMF) instead,” Ravindra Velip of mines, minerals and people said.

Velip said it is shameful that children are unable to go to school because of lack of transport. “It is the primary responsibility of the state government to provide these basic requirement and they should do so immediately. The state cannot wash its hands off the responsibility,” he added.

Shrimali said that the state government also urgently needs to carry out a study on the groundwater situation in the mining belt.

“Goa has a DMF of about Rs 186 crore, of which Rs 10 crore have been utilised so far. When we checked the ground reality, we were informed that due to mismanagement the Rs 10 crore which was spent has failed to benefit the affected community,” said Shirmali.

Courtesy: The Times of India

70 children of Sonshi village in Goa struck in homes as mining dumps have made roads inaccessible

By Sayantani Sarkar

Samata and mines minerals and people (mm&P) organized a District Level Consultation on Children in Mining Area, Illegal Mining, District Mineral Fund (DMF) and Future Generation Fund in collaboration with SETU at Honda Panchayat, Sattari, Goa on 22nd December’ 2018.

The Consultation witnessed the presence of total 62 participants comprising of local government representatives like Panchayat Members, Sarpanch, community members from Sonshi, Soyle, Pissurle and Honda, members of Civil Society Organizations, and Women’ s Groups and Self-Help Groups (SHGs).

There were discussions on the overview of mining throughout the country, various stages of mining, illegal mining, Samata Judgement, situation of children in the mining areas and consequences on their education, health affected due to air and water pollution, malnutrition issues etc., and the need for lobbying National Level regarding Child Rights as they are being violated.

There were discussions on the situation of children in mining areas and it was said that “mining children are nobody’s children and are falling through the cracks” as they are mostly ignored by all the concerned child welfare departments, govt. authorities unaware of the mining children’s inclusion in the respective departments. There is a confusion and lack of clarity as in which department the children in the mining areas should be included and what basic facilities and amenities should be provided to them.

The community people of Sonshi shared that around 70 children of the village and the surrounding villages are struck in their homes and unable to go to school as mining companies after the mining operations came to a standstill following a Supreme Court order, stopped providing the children transport and the roads are inaccessible due to mining dumps placed near the villages. Secretary General of mm&P Ashok Shrimali said that “this is violation of the Right to Education Act and it is the state government’s responsibility to provide free transport for school.”

There were elaborative discussions on District Mineral Fund (DMF), its formation, implementation in all the states and lack of public awareness on the functioning of the DMF. It was found that people are unaware of the DMF which is meant to be utilized for the betterment of the mining affected communities and the funds collected are to be utilized to provide basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, education, health and environmental conservation and preservation. It was also noticed that there was no community participation of the mining affected communities at the planning, formulation and implementation stage.

Shrimali stated that as per the information available, Goa has about Rs. 186 crore under DMF of which Rs. 10 crore has been utilized. However the ground reality is that due to mismanagement of funds, the amount spent has not benefitted the mining affected communities.

Executive Council Member of mm&P, Goa Ravindra Velip, said that no district has developed a comprehensive DMF plan to ensure need- based investments in mining affected areas. He alleged that while the role of gram sabhas and panchayats are sidelined, no beneficiaries are identified under the scheme.

Courtesy: Counterview

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