From: shabana khan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 2:01 PM
Subject: re: Dhanbad Ecosystem is at peril as illegal mining going with impunity
Cc: email@example.com, Lenin Raghuvanshi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
DHANBAD - An independent fact finding team visited the different sites of Coal India Limited (CIL) in the back drop of Performance Audit of Coal India Limited by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India.
CAG has revealed that CIL mines are being undertaken without environmental clearance. This has been corroborated even by the Jharkhand Pollution Control Board which ordered the closure of 22 mines operated by Bharat Coking Coal Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coal India. However, the team was dismayed to note that on 26th August, 2011, the Jharkhand court had ordered a status quo till August 30, 2011 despite this illegal mining is going on with impunity.
The team comprised of Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, Shekhar Agarwal, Rajnish Kumar, Gopal Krishna and Ashok Agarwal. The team visited several sites including Ghanuwadih, Boka pahari, Jairampur, Tisra, Siding no. 9, Sudamdih, Patahardi, Lodana, Jharia. The team met activists of Jharia Coalfield Bachao Samiti. The team carried out the visited during September 11-12, 2011.
The team also met the veteran parliamentarian Basudev Acharya who was here to protect RSP College where he studied in 1960-62 due to underground fire region near Bhagatdih. The college was started in 1951. It is believed that the underground fire is about 60 metres from the college and is inching towards it at the rate of 2.2 metres/ month. There is anger among the residents because of the criminal callousness of Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL), a subsidiary of CIL. The coming 20 months or so appears to be crucial for Jharia which faces an impending ecosystem disaster if central and state governments do not act with unprecedented urgency to avert it.
The team witnessed BCCL management's lackadaisical approach in saving the college by digging trenches at very slow pace. The residents alleged that the company was deliberately delaying the action to get hold of these plots for its mining projects unmindful of human cost. The team met the activists of Jharia Coalfield Bachao Samiti who are demanding that open cast mining be stopped immediately, resettlement and rehabilitation policy of BCCL be revised and all endangered areas of Jharia Coalfileds be urgently stowed and rendered safe.
The team in its preliminary observation feels that CAG should conduct an environmental audit at the earliest and suggest remedial measures to arrest the ongoing decline of the Dhanbad's ecosystem to avoid catastrophe in near future. The team will release its final observations in the coming days.
Therefore it is kind request please take appropriate action at earliest.
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