Mining at all cost

Where is the will to find out what is best for the people and the economy?

MINING in India is frequently in the news these days. There has hardly been an issue of this magazine lately where an article on mining was not printed. The headlines are predictable by now: mining destroys forests; mining pollutes rivers; people are evicted to allow mining; mining encroaches on wildlife habitat; police file cases against people protesting mining; fight breaks out between the community and the mining company during public hearing; government colludes with mining companies to divert ecologically sensitive area. The list is endless. The crux of all these stories is same. The government is mindlessly allowing mining and communities are not willing to take it lying down. Sindhudurg is no different.

In 1997, the district was declared an ecologically fragile region by the Maharashtra government. The area is known for its natural beauty, beaches, backwaters, waterfalls, mountains and forests. It is also famous for Alphonso mangoes and cashew, on which the area