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1 Feb 2003

Jharkhandis' Organisation for Human Rights & Mines, Minerals & People

The Blighted Hills of Roro

...For the last two decades a massive pile of asbestos waste mixed with chromite has been lying on hilltops in Chaibasa, west Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. ... In the last 20 years, nobody... bothered to assess the fate of the waste dumped improperly on top of the Roro hills.

...To assess the impact of this abandoned waste, a fact-finding team was constituted by the mines, minerals & People and Jharkhandis' Organisation for Human Rights in December 2002... 

...The fact finding committee is unanimous in concluding that the closure of the mine has been undertaken in a callous manner.  The company has cited labour union problems for closure and has distanced itself from its duties as a leaseholder and mine operating agency. The lack of focused effort until now has meant that neither the problem of the workers, particularly their financial dues and health aspects, nor the environmental have been addressed.   

The State has an obligation to ensure that the payments due to workers, which is a part of their hard-earned savings, is made to them.  The Director General of Mine Safety has the duty to ensure that mines that are closed are devoid of any hazards.