Big steel firms illegally mined Rs. 45,000 Cr worth

News this week: Commission finds that big corporates mined Rs. 45000 Cr worth iron ore, Delhi residents protest waste incinerator and POSCO's clearance to be revalidated.
Illegal Ironore mining in Odisha (Indialatest.org) Illegal Ironore mining in Odisha (Indialatest.org)

Corporates like Tata Steel, Essel Mining violate green laws in Odisha

Iron ore worth more than Rs. 45,000 crore has been extracted ilegally by top steel makers and miners in Odisha, a report of the Commission appointed to investigate illegal mining in the State has found. The Justice MB Shah Commission has found that Tata Steel, Jindal Steel, Aditya Birla Group's Essel Mining, the Steel Authority of India and Odisha Mining Corp are among the 70 firms that have violated environment and forest laws. In addition to iron ore, mangenese valued above Rs. 3000 crore has been mined illegally. Out of the 192 mining leases of iron and manganese ores in the state, 94 do not have environment clearance.

Residents protest waste incinerator in Delhi

Residents of localities near a waste to energy plant that spews toxic smoke and ash carried out a protest march in front of the factory gates, asking them to shut operations. The Plant, that produces power by using garbage as fuel, has been emitting toxic ash recently that covered people's houses and walls. The fumes emitted from the Plant contains poisonous gases like dioxins and furans which has made breathing difficult. The residents have filed a case in the National Green Tribunal, asking them to cancel the Plant's consent to operate. The NGT will hear the case mid-January.

POSCO's green clearance to be revalidated
 
A week before the South Korean President's visit to India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests decided to revalidate the environment clearance granted to Korean steel company POSCO set to come up in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district. POSCO, the biggest foreign direct investment project in the country, has faced stiff resistance from local people since 2005 when the agreement was signed between the company and the Odisha government. It was granted environment clearance in 2007 but was held up as the company did not provide information about its port project that was linked with the steel plant.

East Kolkata wetlands up for sale

The 2500 hectare East Kolkata Wetlands has become a victim to encroachment, land sharks and politicians who are selling it off without any permission from authorities. After a fisherman's complaint to the East Kolkata Wetlands Management Authority, a complete scandal into the buying and selling of chunks of the Wetland, protected by national and international conventions, was unearthed. Local youth and private fish farm owners, who acted as custodians of this unique biodiversity hotspot till now, are selling it off for easy money.

River Monitoring station near Periyar


A river monitoring station has been set up near the Periyar river in Ernakulam district of Kerala. The equipment will check the river and water quality and display the results at the board installed by the State Pollution Control Board. Environment activists, however, have raised apprehensions about the usefulness of the system. According to them, the quality-measuring equipment and censors for detecting water quality are placed in areas of the river far away from the discharge points of industrial units and polluted areas.

This is a weekly roundup of important news from  January 5-11, 2014. Also read last week's policy matters updates.

 

 

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