‘Mining has displaced 2.6 million people in India’

March 29th, 2008 - 2:26 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, March 29 (IANS) Nearly 2.6 million people have been displaced between 1950 and 1991 in India due to mining, says a book. The book, “Rich Land, Poor People - Is sustainable Mining Possible?”, by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) was released here Friday.

According to excerpts from the book made available to the media, the mining projects gave employment to only 560,000 people but displaced 2.6 million.

Only 25 percent of the total displaced people have been rehabilitated, says the book; 52 percent of the displaced population belonged to tribal communities.

“For every one percent that mining contributes to India’s GDP, it displaces three to four times more people than all development projects put together. An estimated 164,000 hectares of forestland has been diverted for mining in the country,” the book says.

“Iron ore mining used 77 million tonnes of water in 2005-06, enough to meet the daily water needs of more than three million people.

“The mining of major minerals generated about 1.84 billion tonnes of waste in 2006 - most of which has not been disposed off properly. Every tonne of coal extracted generates three to four tonnes of waste.”

The book says extensive mining operations were carried out in 50 districts of India and 30 of them were most backward.

The contribution of mining to the national GDP was 2.2 to 2.5 percent, says the book.

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