https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/understanding-rat-hole-mining-explained/article67588357.ece the hazards of rat-hole mining — asphyxiation because of poor ventilation, collapse of mines due to lack of structural support, and flooding — to earn thrice or four times as much as working in farms or construction sites. Apart from issues of safety and health, unregulated mining led to land degradation, deforestation, and water with high concentrations of sulphates, iron, and toxic heavy metals, low dissolved oxygen, and high biochemical oxygen demand. At least two rivers, Lukha and Myntdu, became too acidic to sustain aquatic life. In May 2023, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma said the Coal Ministry approved mining leases for four of the 17 prospective licence applicants. This would lead to the commencement of ‘scientific’ mining ensuring minimal environmental impact through sustainable and legally compliant extraction procedures. Anti-mining activists, who are assaulted by miners off and on, said that ‘scientific’ would eventually be a fancy tag in a State where profit has driven coal mining.
An Introduction to Rat-hole Mining https://environicsindia.in/2019/02/20/an-introduction-to-rat-hole-mining/
On December 2018, the collapse of coal mine in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills, trapping at least 15 workers who were still missing and are feared dead, has thrown the spotlight on the “rat-hole mining.” Although banned, it remains the only procedure of coal mining in Meghalaya.
Few private players and some people who do invest in such mining are taking the help of Constitution to right their wrongs. They say, “Constitution’s 6th Schedule intends to protect the communities’ ownership over its land and autonomy and consent over its nature of use.” The ongoing coal mining in Meghalaya was a corruption of this Constitutional Provision. Private individuals with interests in earning monetary benefits from minerals under the land are engaged in coal mining. They are attempting to legitimize this act by claiming immunity through tribal autonomy over land ownership. In coming days, controversy over rat-hole mining in Meghalaya will increase and Central and State Government must work together in an amicable manner to stop such pathetic dehumanizing practice.
Why was Rat-Hole Mining Banned?
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned rat-hole mining in 2014 for being unscientific, but the practice continues to be rampant.
Several accidents have resulted in deaths of rat-hole miners in the Northeastern state.
In 2018, 15 men involved in illegal mining were trapped inside a flooded mine. Only two bodies could be recovered in the course of the rescue operation that lasted for more than two months.
Another such accident took place in 2021 when five miners were trapped in a flooded mine. Three bodies were found before rescue teams called off the operation after a month. Add to this the environmental pollution caused by this method.
Mining, however, is a key source of revenue for the state government. The Manipur government has challenged the NGT ban, arguing that there is no other feasible mining option for the region.
A panel appointed by Meghalaya High Court in 2022 found rat-hole mining continues unabated in Meghalaya.
Environment body calls for a rethink on River Front Development https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/environment-body-calls-for-a-rethink-on-river-front-development-9044988/lite/
November 28, 2023
The India Rivers Forum, is calling for a suspension of the River Front Development (RFD) project and a proper review with the participation of everybody. “RFDs have been promoted in a big way by the central and state governments across the country in the name of rejuvenating and beautifying the rivers. Some of the prominent sites for RFD projects across India are Varanasi, Bhagalpur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kota, Bilaspur, Patna, Guwahati and Pune. Though RFD aims to revitalise the riverfront areas, in reality these projects are less about river restoration and more about the encroachment of floodplains and riverbeds characterised by heavily concretised embankments and other structures like barrages and also reclaiming floodplains and riverbeds for real estate development. The Pune RFD project follows the same trajectory”.
“With more than 20 per cent of the floodplains already encroached, breaching both the 25-year and 100-year flood lines across the city, construction of embankments and barrages on the prohibitive zone under the RFD project would further constrict the rivers, reducing their carrying capacity leading to an increase in the flood risk. There is no room for the rivers to absorb floods under this project, especially considering that the Pune region is going to experience an increase in rainfall due to climate change and existing encroachments”.
“We are not saying that the river should be left as it is. The river, seriously, needs rejuvenation but the way it is being done is killing the river.
Decolonize to Decarbonize: Our Call to Action for Climate Justice at COP28 https://www.climatejusticehub.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/D2D-Campaign-Briefer-for-COP28.pdf imperialist countries in the global North and their corporations are using the climate crisis to co-opt peoples’ demands to transition away from fossil fuels to further colonise global South frontiers for resource grabbing and exploitation.... Apart from being unscientific or too resource-intensive to deploy at the scale and pace required, these ‘solutions’ are mere ploys to continue burning fossil fuels and profit off of the climate crisis. Worse, these result in what some would refer to as “green grabbing” or “green colonialism” since they historically led to restrictions on people's access to rights, services, and natural resources, including labour rights, healthcare, education, and the Indigenous Peoples' rights to free, prior, and informed consent.
https://www.climatejusticehub.org/2023/11/21/decolonize-to-decarbonize-our-call-to-action-for-climate-justice-at-cop28/ What are our demands at COP28?
Phase out all forms of fossil fuels
No to false ‘solutions’ to climate change. Market-based mechanisms cannot be presented as solutions
Uphold a people-led energy transition: it should be publicly-owned, wherein the people are allowed to exercise democratic control over the overhauling of existing energy systems
Global North countries must fulfil their financial obligations.Funding mechanisms and facilities must channel finance in the form of grants as compensatory funding and not as loans or for-profit investments
Polluters out People in. deconstructing the existing power structures that favour global North countries and corporations. In practical terms, this amounts to institutionalising measures that will withhold the ability of corporations to access and influence climate policymaking and governance.
By insisting on non-violence, Bapu extinguished the raging fire of communal violence in many parts of India but he himself fell victim to the bullets of an assassin. But how did it affect India for the next fifty years?
बापू के आख़री कुछ साल | Mahatma Gandhi’s last years | तुषार गांधी https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJGcXsochYQ Citizens for Justice and Peace Oct 1, 2023
The last four years of his life proved to be the toughest test of Mahatma Gandhi's principle of non-violence. From Direct Action Day to Partition, when the whole of India was burning in the fire of national hatred and violence, and the leaders of Congress and Muslim League were baking their bread, Bapu alone, risking his life, traveled from Delhi to Noakhali, Bihar. From Calcutta to Calcutta, he kept fighting for the unity of India, taking support of the stick of non-violence. History is witness to the fact that through this effort he was successful in maintaining peace in the eastern parts of the country, but he had to fall victim to Nathuram Godse's bullet. In his books and also in this interview, Bapu's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi says about his last years that because of this valiant effort, especially as a result of his martyrdom, the wind of national hatred blew in this country for about fifty years, if at all it did not last. Didn't get it.
Because times are changing now, and a new era of violence seems to be beginning, it has become necessary to remember those last few years of Bapu.
Citizens for Justice and Peace has been working for national unity in India for the last thirty years. We are Gandhiji's followers in this fight. This special video series with Tushar Gandhi is just an attempt to convey Gandhiji's thoughts to the public in the era of fake news and violence.
https://youtu.be/tXFQ0fx6PL0 On the Investigation- Discussion on Screening of Who killed Gandhi -
https://youtu.be/0uUwmjdxMcc On the Historical Context-
https://youtu.be/4NI5flM76Xc Why no public Screening of the Film Who killed Gandhi in India
https://youtu.be/A35gQbrGhf8 On the Hindutva Narrative
Caste, the cancer afflicting Sanatan Dharma https://www.allindiansmatter.in/caste-the-cancer-afflicting-sanatan-dharma/ But when Udhayanidhi Stalin points out how Sanatan Dharma has been corrupted, all of us are annoyed. How dare he call for its eradication? Ambedkar called for the ‘Annihilation of Caste’. Bapu too, in his own gentle manner, called for it. None of them called for a genocide of Hindus or the upper castes. Let’s not allow sanghis and bhakts fool us into believing it.
All reformers warned about the danger institutionalised oppression poses to the existence of Sanatan Dharma but we have not heeded the warnings. What is being sought to be eradicated is Varna Vyavastha and the prejudices it instils in all of us and the oppression which is its very creed. That cancer afflicting Sanatan Dharma must be eradicated. Otherwise, one day, it will ensure the demise of Sanatan Dharma itself.
On the Hindutva Narrative - Discussion after screening of "who killed Gandhi"
G20 vs We20 | The chronicle of a clampdown | The Money Trail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IolnK99GG4o CFA India Sep 4, 2023 #G20
As the date of #G20 Summit is drawing nearer, the Union Government is becoming more and more intolerant. Its clampdown on We20 Peoples' Summit is the latest. When the freedom of speech and assembly is threatened, how can a country boast of being the 'Mother of Democracy'?
What should be the people's agenda https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-CQy3EZJhkProf Arun Kumar @ WE 20 people's Summit. What should the people push for to counter the G 20's corporate agenda?
We20: A Peoples’ Summit Resolves to Strengthen Efforts to Protect Rights
While in the official G20 summit there are claims of us being the “Mother of Democracy”, the state of affairs that we have witnessed here at the We20 Peoples’ Summit only goes on to show how we are inching closer to being a police state. One where even dialogues, deliberations inside the four walls and thoughts are being policed.
The declaration ‘People and Nature over Profits for a Just, Inclusive, Transparent and Equitable Future’ condemned the police action and while critically looking at the G20 and demanding the overhaul of the international financial architecture. It called out the false market-based solutions to the climate crisis proposed by the G20 which have resulted in financialisation of nature and deprivation of natural resource-dependent communities, and greater debt distress. It rejected corporate capital’s capture of global food governance through the Agreement on Agriculture in the WTO, and emerging bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
3 सप्टेंबर 2023 रोजीवाढवण समुद्रकिनारीभव्य एल्गार मोर्चाचे आयोजन .. justice was trampled upon by allowing the expansion of the port to JNPT on certain conditions. A grand Elgar march has been organized on September 3, 2023 at the beach of Wadhwan to warn the government of the demand to cancel theWadhwan port forever, and to decide the direction of the further agitation, expressing outrage against this authority.
Inside Indian Energy and Mining Giant Vedanta's Campaign to Weaken Key Environmental Regulations by Akshay Deshmane 31 August 2023
Report shows how mining and oil giant Vedanta successfully ran a covert lobbying campaign during the pandemic to weaken India's key environmental regulations. The Narendra Modi-led government approved the changes without public consultation and implemented them using what experts say are illegal methods.
In early 2022, after a series of closed door meetings, India’s environment ministry loosened regulations to allow mining companies to increase production by up to 50 percent without needing to hold public hearings, which many in the industry considered the most onerous requirement of the environmental clearance process.
Though the head of a major industry lobby group and India’s mining secretary also pressed for the rules to be loosened, internal documents and government sources suggest Vedanta’s lobbying was key. The environment ministry then changed the regulations by publishing an office memo — meant to be used for inter-office communication — on its website.
The year before Agarwal wrote to Modi, one of the company’s subsidiaries, Cairn Oil & Gas, also started lobbying to scrap public hearings for oil exploration projects. As with mining, the government quietly amended the law with no public consultation. Since then, at least six of Cairn’s oil projects in the northern deserts of Rajasthan have been greenlit for development...
Indian authorities blocked the websites of activist groups that were campaigning on environmental issues, including one that was fighting against a major new piece of environmental legislation.
In April, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta, claiming he uses foreign funds to “take down” coal projects. Legal watchdog Article 14 cited experts describing the case as “replete with factual errors and misrepresentations” and saying it would “have a chilling effect on environmental litigation in India.”
This year, the Centre for Policy Research, a think tank, had its license to receive foreign funding suspended and tax authorities started looking into their records for alleged violations, reportedly due to its “involvement” with environmental causes.