NEERI Report - Analysis
NEERI REPORT NOT ACCEPTABLE IN ITS PRESENT FORM
i) Deep mining issues
not addressed (in 1.3.1 page 1.7) Comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment Report (CEIA) of mining by KIOCL - prepared
by NEERI, it is clearly mentioned that the primary ore being mined will last for only for another 6 years at the present rate
Mineable Reserves (Page 1.5, Sec. 1.2.3)
The original mineable reserves at Kudremukh after taking into
account the techno-economic factors were estimated at 362 million tons of weathered ore. For the present figure of mineable
reserves, the figures of 362 million tons needs to be reduced by the quantity of ore that has already been extracted during
past 20 years period of mine working. Taking in to account the ore quantity of 243 million tons that has been mined out upto
31.12.1999, the available mineable reserves as on 1.1.2000 work out to 119 million tons.
Considering the fact that only
119 million tons of mineable reserves are left as on 1.2.2000, and at the present rate of mining the ores will be exhausted
in about nine years time.
The report also says that estimates have indicated a presence of about 310 million tonnes of
mineable primary ore, below the weathered ore, which is expected to last for about 20 years. This can be mined only by deep
mining and not by open cast method adopted at present.
Deep mining is an entirely different ball game from open cast mining,
as the Kudremukh area is the 3rd wettest region in the world with heavy rains torpeding for 4 months in a year. The issue
of flooding of deep mines by rain waters and plans for pumping out floodwaters from the deep mines and its impact on environment
are not at all addressed in the CEIA.
Deep mining also involves use of different category of explosives than that are
being used presently. The issue of deep mining, requires sesmological studies and earthquake prediction etc., since the area
is considered as an earthquake prone area.
The CEIA recommends extension of lease, but has not dealt with the subject
and the likely impact of deep mining in the chapters relating to identification of impacts, prediction of impacts and environmental
The CEIA makes absolutely no reference to these problems and thus offers no remedial measures, whatsoever.
Except in one para, the CEIA (page 2.42) has discussed the deep mining subject as followsFor the Except in one para, the
CEIA (page 2.42) has discussed the deep mining subject as followsFor the mining of primary ore, blasting will be required.
Due to adotpion of latest blasting techniques as is being practical presently, the blasting is not excepted to generate higher
levels of noise.
Certainly NEERI was not hired to give generalised complacent views on such a serious subject as impact
of blasting in deep mines !
ii) Increasing of Lakhya tailing dam
In 1.34 (page 1.11) of the NEERI Report, the present
height of Lakhya tailings dam (100 mts.) and its capacity 320 million tonnes are discussed. Since the tailings have more or
less filled to the capacity of the dam, the CEIA says there are plans to build one more dam in Kachigehole or Singsarahole
or raise the height of Lakhya dam by another 15 mts.
But impact studies, enviornment impact statement, and management
plans are not discussed for the proposed dams to be built in Kachigehole or Singasarahole or raising of Lakhya dam height
all of which are a part of the same project. The CEIA says that there is a separate EIA for Kachigehole dam.
approach for a single project is not tenable. Since no impact statements for Kachigehole dam, Singasara dam and raising of
Lakhya dam, which are part and parcel of the KIOCL project are not made available in the present NEERI report, it cannot be
accepted in its present form.
iii) Accidents and Mishaps are not addressed in CEIA
The history of development of dams
and slurry pipes etc., are discussed, in the CEIA. But shockingly the CEIA has not discussed the mishaps that have occurred
in the recent past where in the spillway of the Lakhya Dam had given way causing incalculable damage down stream upto Bhadra
As evidenced, in the Directory of National Parks and Sanctuaries, Karnataka, Management for Status and profiles,
published in 1994, by Indian Institute of Public Administration.
(Page no. 48)
1992 part of Lakhya dam gave way,
causing damage down stream
The State Government had appointed MD of Karnataka State Construction Corporation as a member
of the enquiry committee vide G.O. No. ID 223 MM 91(P) dated 8.9.92 to enquire into circumstances that led to damage to Lakhya
dam and determine the agencies responsible for the lapses and fix the responsibility.
Five times the slurry pipeline had
leaked in the recent past. The latest slurry pipeline damage which resulted in gushing of slurry from 2 feet hole in the pipe
at Kanyalu in July 2000. This left large deposits of slurry (4,000 tonnes) in fields and Ennehole stream because black and
the effluents were carried for a length of 20 kms. down stream.
The Lakhya dam mishap was also viewed seriously and enquiry
committee was constituted to enquire into the circumstances that led to the breach and to determine the agencies responsible
for the lapses and fix the responsibility.
The CES Report has also questioned the structural safety of the earthen dam.
But shockingly the CEIA, prepared by NEERI, has avoided these questions and therefore no remedial measures are discussed
in the CEIA Report, which is a serious lapse on the part of NEERI.
iv) Slurry pipe damage exposes NEERIS incompetence
to address environmental issues.
It is believed the NEERI team conducted their environment impact studies for one year
at the site. They have not bothered to look into the poor maintenance of the slurry pipe, which runs a length of 67 kms. to
Mangalore Port crossing forest areas, agricultural fields and streams. Due to poor maintenance, thick vegetation had grown
all along the pipeline and obviously no periodic inspections were carried out to check the condition of the 20 year old pipes.
Predictably the ill maintained pipes gave way and huge quantities of Iron Ore concentrate gushed out of the pipe during July
2000. The company was ill-prepared in its environmental disaster management. It took over four months for the company to rectify
the damage by felling 781 trees enroute the slurry pipeline.
The accident happened in July 2000 and shockingly the CEIA
of NEERI submitted in November 2000, fails to mention the above accidents in its report. The identification of hazards - 6.01
under chapter Environmental Disaster Management (6.0) does not even discuss these associated problems from related activities.
NEERI has given a clean chit to the company!!
The CES Report has also pulled the alarm chain, while mentioning that several
instances of leakage of pipeline to Mangalore Port, resulting in spillage to streams and forests.
The NEERI-CEIA, ought
to have looked into all the environment impact aspects and address them. The dangers of the slurry pipeline has been overlooked
in their report, which has caused phenomenal damage to the environment. This aspect is another good example of NEERIs incompetance
to address serious environmental issues.