Mining spots least developed, most polluted: CSE report reveals

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Visakhapatnam, Apr 8 (UNI) The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Associate Director, Chandra Bhushan today said that India's environment report titled 'Rich Lands Poor People, Is sustainable Mining Possible?' has revealed that the least developed and most polluted regions of the country are mining hotspots.

The report highlighting the environmental and social footprints of mining in the country was released by former Secretary, Government of India.

Speaking at the function organised here by CSE and Samata, an NGO, to release the report, Mr Chandra Bhushan said that their report has been widely acknowledged as the most comprehensive and authoritative series of publications on 'environment and development in India', as they were extensively researched and widely presented.

He said of the top 50 mineral-producing districts in the country, almost half were tribal and the average forest cover in these districts was 28 per cent, which was more than the national average of 20.9 per cent.

He pointed out that in Andhra Pradesh vast forest lands were diverted, to the tune of 13,000 hectares, between 1980 and 2005 for mining purposes and this was the third largest such diversion in the country next to Orissa and Chhattisgarh.

Mining in the country is promoted for the wrong reason 'employment', by all governments, which is just an illusion, he said. The formal mining industry in India employs only 5.6 per cent of people and this is further going down, he added.

As a result of large-scale ravaging of natural resources in the forests social, economical and environmental problems are emerging in the form of large-scale displacement of people, rehabilitation and re-employment, environmental pollution, health hazards etc.

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