Silicosis victims of stone quarries in Rajasthan, India

Miners of one of the Indian richest states in minerals suffering from lung diseases due poor healthy conditions


Description

Rajasthan is one of the rich mineral states of India.

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Basic Data
NameSilicosis victims of stone quarries in Rajasthan, India
CountryIndia
ProvinceRajasthan
SiteVillage - Jhadol and Deogarh ; District-Jodhpur
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Building materials extraction (quarries, sand, gravel)
Specific CommoditiesSand, gravel
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsRajasthan, the largest state of India is very mineral rich state. Most of the mineral deposits in the state are concentrated in and around the Aravali range. So, the mining activities are mainly concentrated in and around these areas. As per the official records there are 33,199 mines of varying sizes that occupy approximately 4 lakh hectares of land in the state. Although, the state has vast potential of mining activity, it is not much of government control and most of the mining activity is done through unorganized sector. Most of the mining is controlled by medium and small mine owners and contractors. Most of the time they do not stick to the government prescribed laid down rules and regulations. Lacks of inadequate monitoring mechanisms have led to unethical mining practices. In the long run it causes environmental damage and severe effect to human health [1].
Project Area (in hectares)4,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population40,000-50,000
Start Date2007
Relevant government actorsNational Human Rights Commission (NHRC)

Government of Rajasthan

Rajasthan Pollution Control Board

National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersSilicosis Sangarsh Samiti,

New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI)

Mine Labour Protection Campaign (or MLPC)

Rajasthan Rajya Khan Majdoor Union
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingArtisanal miners
Landless peasants
Farmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Local government/political parties
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Industrial workers
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Informal workers
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
Development of a network/collective action
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Strikes
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Mine tailing spills, Soil contamination, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Infectious diseases, Deaths, Other environmental related diseases, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
OtherSilicosis
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Specific impacts on women, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
New legislation
Strengthening of participation
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The mining is Rajasthan is characterized by a high level of informal or unorganized employment. Although the Supreme Court has dictate a clear ruling to stick to the mining norms, many of the small and medium mine owners and contractors do not stick to the safety and environmentally friendly standards at the mines. Their priority is to get more profits rather than the workers’ safety. The miners work long hours and face accidents during their works and many of them are not reported. The owners also do not maintain the records of workers so they cannot even claim compensations. Overall, corruptions in many forms are very much prevalent among mining industry in Rajasthan [2].

The National Human Right Commission (NHRC) has fixed a compensation of Rs 3 lakh in the cases of silicosis victims in Rajasthan. It has directed to pay to the kin of the worker who died out of Silicosis. NHRC thinks that state is responsible for the violation of the human rights so, it is state’s responsibility to pay compensation to the victims [3].

In April 2011 Rajasthan Government allocated about Rs 25.60 crore for medical and other facilities for silicosis affected workers and their families. With the pressure from various corners, perhaps this is the first time that a State government has been forced to pay compensation to informal workers for occupational health hazard. The struggle for the workers had been led by Silicosis Sangarsh Samiti, a platform of workers affected by silicosis and their families along with the Rajasthan Rajya Khan Mazdoor Union, an affiliate of the New Trade Union Initiative NTUI [5].
Sources and Materials
Legislations

Laws relating to Social Security and Compensation Workmen's Compensation Act, 1923
[click to view]

The Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act
[click to view]

References

Human Development Report Rajasthan
[click to view]

Rajasthan Development Report
[click to view]

National Human Rights Commission - NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SILICOSIS minutes, 25.07.2014
[click to view]

Links

[2] Mine Workers of Rajasthan – Emerging Leaders in Veils
[click to view]

[3] Rajasthan Rajya Khan Majdoor Union
[click to view]

[4] Rajasthan Rajya Khan Mazdoor Union protest for silicosis victims
[click to view]

[5] Campaign on occupational safety and health
[click to view]

[1] Tarun Kanti Bose Mining In Rajasthan: A Study of Patterns & Paradigms Available at
[click to view]

Media Links

Silicosis in Jodhpur Rajasthan (in Hindi)
[click to view]

Rajasthan village inhabited by widows (in Hindi)
[click to view]

Occupational Health Hazards of Silicosis in Dang Region of Rajasthan
[click to view]

Other Documents

Protest by mining workers in Rajasthan Source : http://ntui.org.in/union-power/september-2011/
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update25/02/2015
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