Mining rehabilitation plan for whom?

Ballari: Each Gram Panchayat in the iron ore mining belt of Ballari-Sandur-Hosapete is likely to get Rs 2 crore grant per annum to undo the damages of mining till next ten years. Ballari deputy commissioner Mr Ram Prasath Manohar, while addressing a public consultation, has stated that funds will be allocated to panchayats from the corpus of Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC), the special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up by the state government to carry out the restoration process.

Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court had recommended a Rs 30,000 crore mega project to undo the damage done to the environment of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumkur district by reckless mining operations. The green bench of the Supreme Court later directed the state government to set up a company to formulate and implement projects under the Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) With such huge money involved, elected representatives in the mining region are making a beeline to submit major action plans worth hundreds of crore. Read more

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

Bullet train: Gujarat HC issues notices to Centre, state on farmers plea challenging land acquisition

The Gujarat High Court today refused to stay the land acquisition process for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train project, while issuing notices to the Centre and the state government on a petition filed by five farmers.

The five farmers from Surat district have challenged the land acquisition process.

A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi refused to issue any stay, saying the court would wait for the replies from the respondents before passing any order. Read more

Courtesy: The Economic Times

Newest phase in Earth’s history named after Meghalaya rock

NEW DELHI: It’s official, we live in the Meghalayan Age. Scientists have created a new phase in Earth’s geological history and named it Meghalayan, after a stalagmite from a cave in the Indian state of Meghalaya that helped define climatic events 4,200 years ago, marking the beginning of the phase that continues till today.

The Meghalayan Age began with a mega global drought that devastated ancient agricultural civilisations from Egypt to China. It is part of a longer period known as the Holocene Epoch, which reflects everything that has happened over the past 11,700 years. Read more

Courtesy: The Times of India

Andhra Pradesh passes amendments to Centre’s land acquisition law; a boost for private property rights

Andhra Pradesh has passed an amendment to the Centre’s Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013 (LARR 2013), after over two years of legal and constitutional challenges. With this move, the Andhra Pradesh government has finally succeeded in reducing the acquisition of private agricultural land to a simple agreement initiated by the district collector. This statutory change bypasses the procedures the LARR 2013 had put in place, expediting land acquisition for the state’s new capital Amaravati under Andhra Pradesh’s controversial land pooling scheme that eliminates monetary compensation for land acquisition. Read more

Courtesy: First Post

Maharashtra Denies Habitat Rights to the Most Backward Tribal Communities

In January 2016, a decade after the Forest Rights Act (FRA) was passed by Parliament, 60 gram sabhas in Khutgaon, Gadchiroli, became the first forest-dwelling people in Maharashtra to file a claim for habitat rights. These people are part of a community called Madia Gond, classified as a particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG). Almost three years since their claims were submitted, since also approved by the authorised body, they are yet to receive their legal titles.

PVTG is a subcategory of scheduled tribes (ST), characterised by a pre-agricultural level of technology, stagnant or declining population, extremely low literacy rate and subsistence level of economy. There are 75 listed PVTGs in India; Maharashtra has three: Katkaria or Kathodi in Thane and Raigad districts, Kolam in Yavatmal district and Madia Gond in Gadchiroli district. Among STs, the PVTGs have distinct societies and cultures rooted in their territories and forests. Most PVTGs are known to identify themselves as part of a larger clan of villages of the same community, with large and shared bio-cultural territories. These territories or habitats provide livelihood and resources as well as social and spiritual significance. Read more

Courtesy: The Wire

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