Impact assessment in five belts a must before planning industries there, says report
Increased production will add to pollution, it says Loss of soil, forest and agriculture has serious impact on future generations
BHUBANESWAR: As proposals for mineral-based industries continue to flow in from all sides to the State, the State Pollution Control Board has said 10 mining zones deserve serious attention considering their environmental impacts in future.
In the recently-published State of Environment Report-2006, the SPCB has divided the total geographical area of the State into 16 zones and ranked them according to the mining activities and future impacts.
"Of 16 mineral bearing zones, regional impact assessment of first five belts is immediately necessary before planning future industrial activities," the report warned.
The first five potentially "hazardous zones" are Keonjhar-Sundargarh Iron and Manganese belt, Angul-Talcher coal field area, Sambalpur-Jharsuguda-Bargarh area around Hirakud reservoir and Ib River Valley, Jajpur-Dhenkanal-Keonjhar Trijunction area, and Koraput-Rayagada-Kalahandi bauxite area. Though mining activities were taken up in Zone V to X, it may not pose serious problem for the next 10 to 15 years.
The SPCB warned that loss of soil, forest and agriculture would have serious impact on future generations when the region would have to sustain a larger population in Zone II to V.
"Nearly 50 per cent of the operating mines in the State are yet to come under the consent administration of the SPCB. Besides, there are many small quarries in unorganised sector which do not come under environment supervision and monitoring."
With limitation of manpower and infrastructure, the task of managing the situation was not possible to be taken up by the SPCB, the report added.
"Indian Bureau of Mines approves the mining plan with scheme for mine closure. There is no mechanism to monitor that these are being strictly followedSimilar is the case of land degradation, land use and land reclamation of mine areas," the report said.