Team to assess impact of mining in Bellary

To understand the ecological impact that indiscriminate mining has had on the forests in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur, a team led by Dr V K Bahuguna, Director General of Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), is visiting the mining-affected areas for the next two days.

The team of 25 officials, including forest and mining officials, will conduct a study of the entire mining region to submit a report on the request of the State Government, which had asked for a detailed report on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in the mining region.

Officials from ICFRE said the team would primarily focus on Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) in these districts.

“Our primary study will be to assess the damage on the forest cover in these regions due to indiscriminate mining. Also, we will look at the social impact of mining, including migration and standard of living,” they said.

Meanwhile, Bahuguna - speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Wood Museum at the Institute of Wood Science and Technology - said: "On the request of the State Government, we will prepare the rehabilitation plan for the mining region in Bellary. We are leaving for Bellary tonight and will be doing field assessment for the next two days.”

Rehabilitation options
According to him, the team will look into options of rehabilitation and bringing back the vegetation in the mining areas.

ICFRE officials, along with Forest department officials, had visited Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga to conduct a detailed survey of the environmental loss due to mining at 120 sites in August, 2011.

The results and general guidelines were submitted by the team to the Supreme Court which had ordered an inquiry.

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