28 September 2009

Iron Ore Project Rejected

For the lovers of the environment and the sanctity of this vicinity the good news is that a proposed mining project that would have adversely affected the Arunachala area has been summarily rejected. For earlier information on this venture check an earlier posting on Arunachala Grace here.

A Supreme Court panel (CEC) rejected the proposed joint venture iron ore mining venture submitted by JVSL (Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd) and Tidco (Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corp Ltd). The joint venture was to sell iron ore produced at reserved forests in Tiruvannamalai and Salem Districts to Southern Iron and Steel Co. Ltd (Siscol), to manufacture pig iron and coke.

CEC said in its report:

“…the permission sought for the felling of 222,397 trees of spontaneous growth in 325 hectares of reserved forest in district Thiruvannamalai for the implementation of the iron ore mining and pelletization project by Tamil Nadu Iron Ore Mining Corp. Ltd or Timco may not be granted.”

The Supreme Court panel also pointed out that the regional office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests too had recommended that the project not be cleared. In terms of environmental impact, CEC said implementation of the project could affect water and air quality in Salem. And in Tiruvannamalai, it noted that the forest area has

“several species of endangered flora and fauna” and “the use of 325 hectares of undisturbed reserved forest for iron ore mining and pelletization project far outweighs the financial benefits that may accrue by way of reduced cost of raw material for Tamil Nadu...”

The Ministry of Environment and Forests cannot give any clearances in relation to the project unless approved by the Supreme Court so now the only option remaining for the joint venture group is that they file an appeal with the Supreme Court against the recommendations of the CEC.

Its too earlier for us to open the champagne bottles in victory but perhaps not too early to bring them up from the cellar in preparation . . .

For a fuller newspaper report check this link here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is really good new.

Happy Vijayadashami to the Supreme Court judges, too.

Chandra D.