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Escalating Ecocide in the Kudremukh National Park


Compiled by

Mahalakshmi Parthasarathy
S. Sridhar

Mahalakshmi Parthasarathy
Ranjan Rao Yerdoor
S. Sridhar
Dr. Ameen Ahmed
Dr. G. Venkatesh
Paresh U. Karmarkar
K.V. Narendra
Prof. Raghothama Rao
R. S. Haruve
V. Sudheendra

Environmentalists and wildlife lovers all over the state have been particularly concerned over the escalating ecological disaster in the Kudremukh National Park, by the mining activities of the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL).
Though the mining lease ended in July 1999, the lease was extended initially for one year by giving a temporary working permission under Section 2 of the Forest conservation act and later by one more year by the Central Government. In any case even this 2 year extended period of lease will come to an end on 24th July 2001.The company (KIOCL) is lobbying hard to get the lease renewed for a further period of 20 years.
KIOCL has left a legacy of disrespect to the constitution of India, and to the numerous laws of the land. It has also shown scant respect to the many directions given by the Forest Department, the Irrigation Department, the Industries Department and the Ministry of Environment & Forests. The orders of the Supreme Court have been given a quietus by the KIOCL under one pretext or the other.
Over the past decade environmental groups have been investigating jointly or severally into the misdemeanors of the KIOCL. The environmental groups have not only highlighted the ecocide being perpetuated by the company, from time to time, but also brought out the serious nature of the ecological disaster that was ushered in due to the mining activities so far.These groups have also highlighted the incalculable irreversible damage which has been caused to the environment and its potential to completely ruin the ecosystem if the lease is renewed, as envisaged by the company.
The environment groups are alarmed by the newspaper reports (Mr. Ambarish Mukherjee in Business Line, Bangalore, June 1, 2001) that the mining lease of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd., will be renewed for 20 years following an environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi, and that a draft prepared for such renewal is ready with the Law Ministry and the Notification of renewal will be issued soon and the most recent information of deletion of the Mining Lease area from the KNP. The environment groups have come together and have exchanged notes, documentary evidence and findings and have prepared this investigative report.
This investigative report has been divided into many chapters highlighting the flagrant violations of the company. A summary and recommendations of this report will be submitted to the MoEF, the Chief Minister, and the Ministry for Environment and Forests along with a Memorandum to review the proposed renewal, in the light of our investigations and findings.
The export of Iron Ore by India has come down by 10% in 1998-99, due to lesser demands from Japan