While illegal mining is worrying, what is little understood is the enormous loot that is taking place legally. Mineral owners sometimes receive less than 5% of the value of minerals.
While the draft does include new paragraphs on illegal mining and sustainable development, experts question whether it will be, as the Supreme Court recently put it, “effective, meaningful and implementable”.
The K.R. Rao committee has only recently taken on board the views of civil society stakeholders, raising questions as to whether illegal mining and environmental issues will be properly addressed.
Mining companies on the hook include Tata Steel, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd, Indrani Patnaik, Rungta Mines, Serajuddin & Company.
Illegal mining syndicates and the Naxals share a symbiotic relationship – they both want the isolated, backward districts of Chhattisgarh to stay that way.