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Rajasthan HC slaps Rs 50 crore on marble mining companies

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Jodhpur, Apr 27 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court on Friday slapped a fine of Rs. 50 crores on the Sangemarmar Khan Vikas Samiti (SKVS), disposing off a petition filed by the Centre in 1996 regarding marble mining in Makrana leading to destruction of Jodhpur-Jaipur railway track. The court also ordered halt to mining within 45 meters of any road and railway track with immediate effect and ordered a CBI inquiry against all those mining officials who were posted in Makrana during this violation by identifying them. The petitioner had identified 61 such mines which continued to be operational despite the stay by the court in 1996, leading to damage of the railway track in Makrana. The SKVS had filed a petition making a plea to vacate the stay in 1997 but the court rejected its plea upholding its earlier decision. Taking a serious note of the non-compliance of the court’s order, the court also imposed an additional penalty on these 61 miners of a cost equal to 10 times of the total mineral extracted from these 61 mines so far. A division bench comprising chief justice Arun Kumar Mishra and justice Kailash Chandra Joshi, while taking a serious note of the mining in Makrana leading to violation of the mining rules which prohibit mining in 45 meters of any road or railway track, voiced its anger against mining officials and miners saying “if you are not stopped, you would dig up even the High Court.”

HC slaps R 50 crore fine on marble miners in Makrana

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Jaipur: In a landmark judgment, Rajasthan high court has imposed a massive Rs50 crore fine on marble miners in Makrana area, whose operations have damaged the Jodhpur-Jaipur railway track.

While disposing of the petition filed by the Union of India in 1996 against marble mining in Makrana leading to destruction of the Jodhpur-Jaipur rail track, the HC on Friday slapped Rs50 crore penalty on Sangmermar Khan Vikas Samiti (SKVS) an umbrella group of marble miners in Makrana.

The HC division bench comprising chief justice Arun Kumar Mishra and justice Kailash Chandra Joshi, further ordered to stop mining within 45 metres of any road or rail track with immediate effect. The bench also ordered a CBI probe against all those mining officials, who were posted in Makrana, when the miners violated all established rules. The petitioner had identified 61 such mines, which continued to operate despite a stay on mining by the court in 1996, resulting in damage to the railway tracks.

The SKVS had filed a petition making a plea to vacate this stay in 1997, but the court rejected their plea.

Taking a serious note of non-compliance of court’s order, the court also imposed an additional penalty on these 61 miners of a cost equal to 10 times of the total mineral extracted from these 61 mines so far. The bench also directed that the penalty be paid in 3 months and directed to file a complaint against 3 particular mines, which have caused maximum damage to the railway track. The bench slapped an additional fine of Rs1 crore on one of these 3 mines (belonging to one Khalil Ahmad), which had caused highest damage to the tracks. The HC, during previous hearing of the case, had observed that if these miners were not stopped they would dig up even the HC one day.
Taking a serious note of non-compliance of court’s order, the court also imposed an additional penalty on 61 miners of a cost equal to 10 times of the total mineral extracted from these 61 mines so far

The HC division bench ordered to stop mining within 45 metres of any road or rail track with immediate effect

It also ordered a CBI probe against all those mining officials, posted in Makrana, when the miners violated all established rules.

The petitioner had identified 61 mines, which continued to operate despite a stay on mining by court in 1996

Pro-asbestos advocacy group shuts its doors

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A decades-old pro-asbestos lobby group, currently funded by the Quebec government, will be shutting its doors after notifying the federal government of its plan to dissolve.

The Montreal-based Chrysotile Institute issued the notice in the Canada Gazette — the government’s official publication for announcing new laws and other public information. The institute, first formed in 1984, promotes the safe use of chrysotile asbestos on behalf of Canada’s asbestos mining industry.

NDP MP Pat Martin — a longtime critic of the asbestos industry and former miner himself — said the closing of the institute signals the “death knell” of asbestos mining in Canada.

“I see it as a real tipping point in the movement to get Canada out of the asbestos industry,” Martin said. “It’s just another demonstration of the death rattle of the asbestos industry in this country.”

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Workplace poisoning killing millions of Asians each year, says new report

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Workers operate sewing machines at a factory in southern China. Asia Monitor Resource Centre wants to improve the lot of ‘invisible victims of development’. Photograph: Siu Chiu/Reuters

Millions of Asian people are contracting fatal diseases at work but their suffering is ignored, unreported and uncompensated, according to a new report by a labour rights group.

Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC) says poisoning in unhealthy workplaces is creating untold numbers of “invisible victims of development”.

The group’s report on health and safety in six countries – Cambodia,ChinaIndiaIndonesia, the Philippines and Thailand – has been issued ahead of International Workers Mourning Day on Saturday.

The International Labour Organisation has estimated that 1.1 million people in Asia died due to their work in 2008.

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Report Exposes Extent of Workplace Death and Disease in Asia

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This is a cross-post from the AFL-CIO Solidarity Center.

Asia is facing an onslaught of work-related deaths and diseases. Of the 2.2 million people who die each year all over the world as a result of work-related accidents or illness, 1.1 million are Asian. Yet the problem of workplace health and safety and its victims remain invisible, according to a new reportreleased today in commemoration of Workers Memorial Day by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), a Solidarity Center partner.

The report, “Invisible Victims of Development: Workers Health and Safety in Asia,” aims to highlight the severity of the problem through detailed information from six Asian countries: China, India, Cambodia, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Official data are lacking. Often, the very existence of hazardous work conditions is denied. Yet grassroots accounts confirm that these workers and their families are marginalized, exploited and denied compensation and justice.

“Sick and injured workers in Asia remain invisible, as most countries in Asia do not adequately report work-related deaths, injuries and diseases,” said AMRC Executive Director Sanjiv Pandita. “These victims are denied justice and dignity. Their deaths are the price that we as society have paid for the sake of development.”

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Coimbatore mayor threatens NGOs on tree-felling

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COIMBATORE: Giving a new twist to the ongoing war of words between the city corporation and green activists over felling of trees for road widening works, mayor SM Velusamy on Friday passed a special resolution in the corporation council to initiate criminal proceedings against NGOs who stop tree felling to facilitate development works. The resolution comes a day after a city court issued a stay against felling to widen Marudhamalai Road.

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Forest Act blamed for shrinking green cover in Andhra Pradesh

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HYDERABAD: Not raging fires or lack of protection, it is tribals’ staking claim on forest land that has resulted in the drastic drop in Andhra Pradesh’s forest cover. Hitesh Malhotra, principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and head of forest force, AP, said here on Thursday that as much as 1,65,633 claims by tribals (adding up to 4.69 lakh acres of land) had been settled over the last few years under the Recognition of Forest Rights Act (RoFR) of 2006. That apart, a whopping 10,000 hectares of forest area has fallen prey to encroachmentRead more

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