Dubey uses RTI to fight mining mafia in MP

Gets HC to take notice of the menace

danish

Danish Raza | April 12, 2010


Ajay Dubey
Ajay Dubey

Poison was running in the veins of people in Madhya Pradesh. Air was becoming contaminated. Water was giving way to filth. Thanks to regular mining, respiratory diseases including TB and asthma had become integral part of the lives of those living in the state. Ajay Dubey, a social activist in Bhopal, could not take it anymore. He used the Right To Information Act to tackle the threat his state was facing. Dubey filed RTI application in the department of mining to know the number of illegal mines in the state. “Bhopal gas tragedy was the only issue people used to focus in the state. I believe illegal mining has the potential to become an environmental hazard,” says 39 year old Dubey.
On March 12, 2007, he filed an RTI application in the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) seeking the number of operational mines in the state, mines operating without approval of MPPCB and the action taken by the Board against the operators of such mines. As anticipated by Dubey, almost half of the 526 mines (of size above five hectares) were operating without the approval of the Board. MPPCB admitted that it could not confirm the number of mines which equal to or less than five hectares, as the regional offices were yet to provide the data on the same. 

The Board also expressed its helplessness in enforcing the environmental norms on mining activity because of frequent changes in guidelines by the central government.
On approaching regional offices, Dubey discovered that about nine hundred small mines were active with the approval of the pollution body.
Armed with this information, Dubey filed a PIL in February 2008 in the Madhya Pradesh High Court, seeking closure of illegal mines. On July 2, 2008, the Court ordered the closure of all mineral mines that did not have the consent from the State Pollution Control Board. The court also allowed the mines with leased land of area less than five hectare to obtain no-objection certificate from MPPCB if they wanted to prevent their closure.
“From July to December 2008, more than 2700 mines obtained MPPCB approval. Some of them were given environmental clearance on the day they filed the application was made, says Dubey.
According to him, there were continuous threats to his life from the mania during the struggle. “They used to phone me. At other times, their people met me at the PIO office,” says he.
The founder Prayatna, an NGO working for environmental causes, believes that RTI made things easier for him. “We got smooth leads with the Act,” says he.

Comments

 

Other News

NCP’s Ajit Pawar is LoP in Maharashtra assembly

After the Bharatiya Janta Party orchestrated rebellion in the Shiv Sena partly led by Eknath Shinde who took away with him a majority of MLAs, the Eknath Shinde-BJP government proved majority in the state assembly floor test, crossing  the midway mark (144) getting 164 votes in their favour. The Natio

Why sanitation should matter to you

How many times a day do you flush the toilet? This number is probably between five and eight times for an average person. How many times a day do you spare a thought towards what happens to the human waste after you flush it away? The answer to this is likely to be close to zero for most people.

Who is Eknath Shinde, the auto driver who became CM?

Hailing from Satara district of Maharashtra, Eknath Sambhaji Shinde had to leave his education midway to financially support his family. He worked as an auto rickshaw driver, a lorry driver and also said to have worked in a brewery before he came in contact with Anand Dighe, Shiv Sena’s Thane unit pr

Metro 3 car shed to stay at Aarey, say new CM Shinde

Former Maharashtra chief minister Davendra Fadnavis stunned all at a press conference Thursday and named Eknath Shinde, the rebel MLA from Shiv Sena, as the next chief minister. Though Fadnavis said he would stay out of the government, a few hours later the BJP leadership announced he would be the deputy c

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter