Mining did little development for local people - Study

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 21 (UNI) Areas rich in minerals, forests, wildlife and water sources are home to the poorest people, but mining contrary to government's claim did little for the development of the area and its people, a study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said.

The 356 page report "Rich land, poor people: Is sustainable mining possible? ", released here today by Orissa Governor M C Bhandare said mining had never generated employment nor contributed to the development of the local area.

On the contrary poverty had increased in many of these areas, the report claimed Briefing newsmen here, CSE Director Sunita Nayar disputed the claim that mining was essential for the growth, stating that the mining areas were on the other hand the least developed areas of the country.

She said it happed as the wealth generated in the mining area was never spent in the area for the development of local people.

The study recommended for policy reform for sustainable management of mining and suggested not to allow mining without the consent of the people.

Ms Nayar said Orissa accounted for seven per cent of India's forest, 11 per cent of water resources, 24 per cent of coal, 98 per cent chromite and 51 per cent of the bauxite resereve of the country but it has a human development index of 0.404, which was worse than that of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The state's per capita income had declined during the second half of the 1990 the period when state witnessed industrialisation.

All the mineral-rich districts of the state featured in the list of 150 most backward districts of the country, she said adding 62 per cent of the people in Keonjhar, the most mined district in Orissa, 79 per cent of the Koraput district, the bauxite capital of the country, live below poverty line.

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