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Escalating Ecocide in the Kudremukh National Park
Chapter 1a

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 a 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 quietly ignored 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 potential and incalculable irreversible damage which can be caused to the environment, 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. 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.

Our investigations have revealed that the KIOCL has been blatantly violating the provisions contained in the following ACTS, duly enacted by the Central and State Governments.
1) The Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
2) The Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
3) The Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
4) The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1978.
5) The Explosives Act, 1872.
6) The Karnataka Irrigation Act 1964.
The investigators have gone in depth and examined the correspondence with the concerned authorities which have revealed that the KIOCL has left behind a legacy of proven bad track record and utter disregard for the above mentioned acts.
Some instances are narrated below :
a) Violation of section 4(1) of the Karnataka Irrigation Act 1964.
The KIOCL, ought to have obtained specific clearance from the Government. The letter from Chief Engineer, WRDO to the Secretary Irrigation Department dated 9.3.1991 reproduced below is self explanatory.
2. M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., have not obtained specific clearance of Government of Karnataka in Irrigation Department for construction of the existing Lakhya Reservoir. The Section 4 (1) of the Karnataka Irrigation Act 1963 stated as follows :
No person shall construct, control or maintain wholly or partly any reservoir, tank, anicut, bhandara, pond, spring pond, canal, field channel, Talaparige, channel or aqueduct except with the previous sanction of the State Government or such authorities as may be authorised by the State Government in this behalf and subject to such conditions as the State Government or such authority may impose.
M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., have not followed the above provision of the Karnataka Irrigation Act while constructing the existing Lakhya reservoir. However, the Secretary, M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., is now requesting Ex-post - facto approval of Government of Karnataka for the construction - of the existing Lakhya Dam and for impounding and use of water from the Lakhya river.
b) violation of section 3c-2 of the Karnataka Irrigation Act (levy of Betterment contribution) Act, which reads as follows :
3c (2) Levy and determination of water rate for use of water for purposes other than agriculture :-
(1) Where water is used from any irrigation work for any purpose other than agriculture, after obtaining necessary permission, there shall be levied a water rate as follows, namely :-
(a) If water is used for domestic purpose, rupees one hundred and fifty per million cubic feet of water;
(b) if water is used for any other purpose, and
(i) drawn from natural water ways, rivers or streams three hundred and fifty rupees per million cubic feet of water;
(ii) drawn from a canal, tank, reservoir, anicut, banchara, pond, kunta, talaparige and madugus, belonging to the Government, seven hundred rupees per million cubic feet of water;
Provided that, where water drawn for such canal, tank, reservoir, anicut, bandhara, pond, kunta, talaparige and madugus, then the water rate for the quantity of water so returned shall be limited to three hundred and fifty rupees per million cubic feet of water;
Provided further than, no water rate shall be levied for water used by an industry for a period of five years from the date of starting such industry.
However, the KIOCL has violated this section of the Act, by refusing to pay the water rates as demanded by the Chief Engineer, WRDO, in his letter No. WRD/MISC/THI to the Secretary, Irrigation Dept., on 9.12.1991.
ii) Government has stipulated levy of water rates for use of water other than irrigation for water drawn from the natural water ways, rivers or streams etc. Hence it is recommended that M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., has to pay water rates for the water utilised from the inception at the prevailing water rates to be fixed by Government. A calculation sheet showing the year-wise amount payable to Government by M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., for storing and utilising water from Lakhya Dam is enclosed (A rate of Rs. 350 / Mcft is considered for water utilised for non irrigation purpose as stated in G.O. No. PWD 89 NPC 85(p.II) dated 31.10.88). Accordingly, the total amount payable upto 1991-92 will Rs. 23.60 lakhs.
iii) M/s. Kudremukh Iron Ore Co. Ltd., is only complying with the Standards fixed by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board regarding suspended solids and Fe content. This has no correlation with the sediment lead discharged into the Bhadra river downstream.