Titled “Out of Control – Mining, Regulatory Failure and Human Rights in India,” the report studies the problems faced by vulnerable communities due to mining in various states of India but particularly in Karnataka and Goa.
The report was released in Panaji by Human Rights Watch South Asia director, Meenakshi Ganguly and its senior researcher Chris Albin-Lackey in the presence of prominent Goan environmental activist Ramesh Gauns.
The report also has recommendations for governments to implement so that human rights issues do not crop up due to mining. The main recommendation is that the central government must tighten up on “environmental impact assessment” (EIA) reports on the basis of which, approvals are given for mining projects in India.
Human Rights Watch has learned during its field visits that EIA reports give misleading and even false information to the ministry of environment and forests for getting clearance to the mining projects in India.
The report recommends that the government should set up independent funding of EIA reports, that these reports give more detailed and lengthy consideration of the community impacts, that new mining projects be scrutinized thoroughly and for better quality control on the EIA reports.
Human Rights Watch’s field visits revealed many problems. Farmers in Goa and Karnataka revealed how mining has polluted vital springs and groundwater supplies. Overloaded trucks of iron ore throw of dust on the roads of rural communities, destroying crops and potentially damaging health of families around. Sometimes, people who spoke out were threatened, harassed and even physically attacked. But government authorities failed to address their grievances.