DMF, PMKKKY not implemented properly in C’garh: CSE

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Sep 2018 14:26:28


 

Staff Reporter,

RAIPUR,

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has pointed out that District Mineral Foundations (DMF) and the associated Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kheshtra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) scheme are not being implemented properly in Chhattisgarh.  With more than Rs 2,900 crore, Chhattisgarh is one of the top three states in terms of DMF collection in India. About Rs 3,133 crore sanctioned for projects under DMF for next three years. The report points out that DMF investments are ad-hoc in most districts due to lack of need-based planning.

Investments heavily focused on physical infrastructure including roads and bridges but critical issues such as child nutrition and healthcare being ignored by most districts. It further stated that Gram Sabhas are not engaged yet on DMF planning or monitoring which the DMF law requires.

District DMF body is dominated by government officials and political representatives with very poor representation of mining affected people. As a ‘Settlor’ of DMF Trust, the state government has taken a central role in DMF administration and deciding DMF investments. Public accountability mechanisms still weak with many districts still not conducting yearly financial audits. No district has done a social audit as required by Chhattisgarh DMF Rules.
The District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Status Report, 2018 and its findings with respect to Chhattisgarh, were discussed today in a public meeting in Raipur. The meeting was attended by officials of the Chhattisgarh Mines Department, official of biggest mining district Korba, various civil society members, NGOs and media. The CSE surveyed nine districts of Chhattisgarh with in-depth analysis done for Korba, Dantewada and Raigarh.

Srestha Banerjee, Programme Manager, Environmental Governance Unit, CSE, while releasing the report said DMF is a huge opportunity to improve the lives and livelihoods of some of India’s poor and most deprived people who have over years been adversely affected by mining activities. Anurag Diwan, Joint Director, Mineral Resources Department, said the state government is taking action on many of this. Transparency and accountability is a key focus of the state government, he added.

The report states that DMFs have been instituted to be established as a non-profit Trust in every mining district of the country under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation), Amendment Act, 2015. They have a precise and legally defined ‘objective’ to ‘work for the interest and benefit of persons and areas affected by mining-related operations’. The DMF collection in Chhattisgarh currently is more than Rs 2,900 crore annually. The topmost districts in the state in terms of DMF collection are Korba (Rs 674 crore), Dantewada (Rs 216 crore) and Raigarh (Rs 122 crore).

Srestha Banerjee pointed out despite high malnutrition and under five mortality rate (U5MR) in all mining-affected areas, some of which are also tribal areas, all districts have largely overlooked issues of women and child development. In Raigarh, about 75 per cent of the total investments are going only for physical infrastructure, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna and electrification of villages, the last two being the state government’s mandates. Dantewada has invested only 1.6 percent of its total funds on women and child development despite 45 per cent of its children under the age of five growing up stunted and more than 53 per cent being underweight.

Healthcare investments have been largely overlooked in Korba and Raigarh. If proper planning was done, child nutrition, healthcare and drinking water would have been the top priorities for all three districts, said Banerjee. She however added that, Dantewada is an exception here. The district has invested Rs 51 crore (13.4 per cent of total investments) in healthcare – on infrastructure building and hiring of health care personnel, especially doctors.

The DMF is operating in every district without identifying its beneficiaries, the mining affected people, highlights the CSE report. These not only involve people who are living in mining-affected areas, but also those who have been displaced and resettled, lost their livelihoods including forest-based livelihoods, and those who had user and traditional rights over the land, said Srestha Banerjee.

Dr Dinesh Mishra, Deputy Director, Mining Korba said that the district has recently started the exercise to identify beneficiaries. In September, the district has listed 3000 DMF beneficiaries from some of the affected areas. The district is finalizing the list will be notified.

DMFs have also not fulfilled its other obligation of engaging Gram Sabhas decisions. Korba, Dantewada and part of Raigarh (including mining areas) are classified as Schedule V areas. There is little information available showing that Gram Sabha consultation has happened for identification and approval of works to be done through DMF funds or for identifying beneficiaries, said Chinmayi Shalya, Deputy Program Manager of CSE.

About Rs 3,133 crore has been sanctioned in Chhattisgarh for projects under DMF at the time of CSE research. About 28 per cent of this is for constructing roads and bridges. The investment in this is high in Korba, Raigarh and Dantewada. A sizeable share of the fund has been invested in areas not directly-affected by mining operations. In Korba, about 46 per cent investments are in urban areas even when 75 per cent of the district’s directly-affected villages are located in the rural parts. The urban investments range from construction of multi-level parking lots, convention halls and bus stops to investments in an urban project like the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT). These are strictly urban development projects which have no bearing on the mining-affected areas, said Srestha Banerjee.

Similarly, Dantewada has invested 25 per cent of its total sanctions in Gidam, where the mining affect is miniscule. Worst affected blocks like Kuwakonda have only 12 per cent of total investments so far. These investments go against the fundamental principle of DMF, that funds must be used for those worst affected by mining-related operations, added Banerjee.