Odisha Sun Times Bureau
(MEAI Press Release)
Hyderabad, June 14:
The Mining Engineers’ Association of India (www.meai1957.com), a national body of 5000 Mining Engineers gave a clarion call today to the Government to restore mining operations banned in Goa and Odisha and revive Indian economy.
The SC Judgment in Goa case in April 2014 and SC interim order in Odisha case in May 2014, held that mines operating in the Goa and Orissa under deemed extension beyond 1st renewal was illegal with retrospective effect in the case of Goa and violation of rules in the case of Orissa.
The apex court has also held that lessee may carry out all activities connected with mining within the leased area and tailings and rejects excavated during mining operations cannot be kept by the lessees beyond the leased area. Further tailing and rejects will be eligible for royalty, the moment they are removed from the leased area.
The SC Judgment brought out a serious anomaly in the Mineral Concession Rules and the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988 vis-à-vis the MMDR Act which makes operations of several mines in India questionable and against the spirit of the Judgment as on date.
Unless the lawmakers remove this inconsistency between the Acts and the Rules, ban in Goa which led to the ban in Orissa; is bound to spread nationwide to other states as well bringing the national economy to a grinding halt.
MEAI is of the opinion that such a situation must be avoided at any cost and gave a clarion call to amend the MMDR Act or take any other action expeditiously deemed fit in the matter. Once this amendment is made and mining ban is removed, MEAI volunteers to be an ombudsman and work with the Government to ensure Safe, Responsible & Eco-Friendly mining.
PM Memorandum: MEAI is preparing a memorandum to be presented to Hon’ble Prime Minister and Union Minister of Mines to explain that the States need to clear renewal of leases on time and also why it is an established scientific practice world-wide to dump tailings and rejects outside the mining lease.
The impact on Indian economy due to the recent SC judgement in Goa and Orissa has the potential to result in large scale disruption of mining with serious consequences in relation to fresh investments in the mining sector.
MEAI is seeking an appointment to meet the Chief Ministers of Goa and Odisha and present their case. A formal letter has already been submitted to the President of India in May 2014.
MEAI welcomes the initiative of Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to discuss issues arising from the ban of mining activities within a kilometre of national parks and sanctuaries with Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. Mr. Parrikar also sought help from the Center to resolve all the key environment issues related to mining and rationalize mining norms within one kilometre of national parks and sanctuaries in the State.
This resonates with the Prime Minister vision of looking at the environment vs development debate with Indian perspective and vindicates the MEAI stand that Minerals are site specific, temporary and exists only in specific geological land forms like Mountains, Hills, Ghats, Forests and thus uninhabited areas. It is a gift of God for mankind and must be mined wherever it exists so that India can have inclusive growth and attempt to catch up with China becomes a reality.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. A. Bagchhi, MEAI President said: “Mining is oxygen to the infrastructure, Power, Steel, Transport, Housing transport and manufacturing industry. Without mining, even service sector cannot survive. We appeal to Prime Minister to restore mining operations that can kick start the economic revival process in India and make simple mining laws to avoid such misunderstanding. MEAI is committed to environment friendly and community friendly mining which gives maximum benefit and does minimum harm to the Environment. MEAI wholeheartedly respects the Government regulatory framework and wish to work for its improvement and simplification to accelerate inclusive development and growth.
The Mining Engineers’ Association of India (MEAI) was founded in the year 1957 with the aim of establishing a professional body that safeguards & enhances the professional competence and integrity of mining industry professionals’ viz., mining engineers, geologists and allied engineers, serving in the opencast and underground mines.
It was also aimed at contributing its might to induce scientific and technological developments in the mining industry for the benefit of its profession and the country. The association entered into bilateral agreements with SME, (USA), AusIMM (Australia) and SAIMM (South Africa) for exchange of information on latest Technological advancements in the field of Mining. For details, please check www.meai1957.com