Mining firms hasten rejuvenation
Many mining companies in the district, which faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for indulging in illegal mining, have started implementing reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) measures on a war-footing.
For, implementing R&R measures is mandatory for getting fresh mining permits.
After analysing the vast damage caused by decade-long extensive illegal mining, the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and Indian Council of Forest Research Education (ICFRE) have recommended mandatory implementation of R&R measures.
Conservation of forests
To get fresh mining permits, the companies also have to follow a set of rules prescribed by the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM).
Prominent among them is conservation of forest wealth. Most of the iron ore deposits are located in the hilly and forest areas owned by the government.
Hence, it is the duty of the mining companies to maintain greenery in these areas.
ICFRE has emphasised on afforestation and construction of check dams in the areas bordering mining plots. Grass should be grown (geo textiling) on old dump yards and on their slopes.
Further, a retaining wall should be constructed at the bottom of the slope to arrest draining of slurry through the gullies.
To prevent landslide, open drains should be built, using boulders, near dump yards.
Fruit bearing trees should be planted in these areas. Water tanks for wild animals should be constructed in mining areas and saplings planted all along the road taken by the ore-laden lorries, the ICFRE has suggested.
To prevent boundary disputes, boundaries should be marked in a scientific manner and a gap of 7.5-metre between each boundary should be maintained.
The boundary stones should be erected only after getting the approval from the department of Mines and Geology and Department of Forests.
More than 40 mining companies in the ‘A’, ‘A+’ and ‘B’ categories have been given permission to implement R&R measures.
The companies will get fresh permit only if the CEC and ICFRE are satisfied with the R&R measures they have implemented.